SEC Warns That Retirement Accounts’ Crypto Stakes May Be Unregistered Securities

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) again made its case Tuesday that crypto assets are often unregistered securities being traded on unregistered exchanges, issuing an investor alert warning that people should be wary of crypto in individual retirement accounts (IRA).

Self-directed IRAs sometimes offer crypto investments, the SEC said, and those “may be securities that are offered without SEC registration or a valid exemption from registration, and may not be accompanied by complete or accurate information to aid investors in making informed decisions.”

The agency, which has been waging this legal contest on multiple fronts against the crypto industry, also cautioned investors about the companies handling cryptocurrency trading.

“Many of the trading platforms for these crypto assets refer to themselves as ‘exchanges,’ which may give investors the misimpression that they have registered with the SEC,” according to the investor alert.

For its part, industry lobbyists and company executives have routinely maintained that the agency isn’t providing a realistic pathway for exchange registration, and they've argued that many cryptocurrencies aren’t securities.