FinTech Interview with Chris Kline, COO, and Co-Founder of Bitcoin IRA

FTB News DeskAugust 3, 202216 min

Chris Kline sheds light on why the crypto market is dipping and gives a sneak peek into the recent developments at Bitcoin IRA.
Chris Kline,Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer at Bitcoin IRA

A Denver, Colorado native, Chris Kline was challenged to develop a way for individuals to directly invest in Bitcoin for retirement. Together with Camilo Concha and Johannes Haze, Kline co-founded Bitcoin IRA, and Kline then developed the process and exclusive partnerships to create a full-service, turnkey solution allowing investors to capitalize on the rapidly growing digital currency marketspace for their retirement portfolio while maintaining full IRS compliance. Kline holds a degree in International Finance and Leadership from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a contributing writer at Forbes Finance Council and FXEmpire, among other publications.

1. Can you give us a brief of your career before Bitcoin IRA?
I graduated from the University of Colorado in 2007. It was around the time of the housing crisis, and I moved around working with startups and incubators. I finally decided to take a one-way ticket to LA and began working at alternative IRA companies for several years before co-founding Bitcoin IRA.

2. Could you tell us more about Bitcoin IRA and what was the inspiration behind starting this company?
We launched Bitcoin IRA at a time when investing crypto into a retirement savings account sounded crazy. Cryptocurrency is notorious for its volatility, constant changes in value and regulatory scrutiny, yet crypto is kind of like the internet. It’s destined to become ubiquitous and a crucial component to any future investment portfolio. Prior to discussing the concept for Bitcoin IRA in 2015, my partners and I had spent 7-8 years working with self-directed IRAs and didn’t know much about investing bitcoin into retirement. But we had one goal in mind: help more Americans retire. So, we explored it, defined its components and Bitcoin IRA officially went into market in June of 2016.

3. What makes Bitcoin IRA unique? How does it stand out from its competitors?
Bitcoin IRA is the world’s first crypto IRA platform in existence, where you can buy and sell crypto 24/7 (over 60+ cryptocurrencies) in a matter of minutes. Our top differentiating factors are innovation, service and security. We ensure additional security for our customers through an exclusive partnership with BitGo to help clients navigate the complex digital assets landscape.

4. What are the product line offerings of Bitcoin IRA?
Bitcoin IRA offers the same types of retirement options you would find at a traditional retirement company, including IRA, SEP and Roth IRA. With these account types, investors can invest in 60+ cryptocurrencies, as well as gold and other alternative asset types.

5. What kind of companies do you work with? Who can you say is your perfect client?
Bitcoin IRA is a direct-to-consumer platform for retirement savings. Our ideal client is forward-thinking and sees alternative assets as a part of the modern portfolio theory. Cryptocurrency knowledge varies from novice beginners to crypto experts. In general, Bitcoin IRA account holders have a concern over the management and longevity of our current monetary systems and see cryptocurrency as an alternative asset option to help navigate inflation and other global economic concerns.

6. How do you handle the tax issues related to IRA and retirement investing?
The tax rules of traditional IRAs are the same at Bitcoin IRA and remain unchanged. Since we service all retirement account types, clients have different tax settings, which you would find at any traditional retirement company. Furthermore, we’ve designed a custodial solution where the client could access coins that are traded and held in custody by a self-directed IRA trust company known as Digital Trust, which is regulated by the state of Nevada. This solution helps investors prevent loss or fall into any prohibited transactions.

7. In your opinion, why is the crypto market dipping?
We can attribute the market dip to a number of reasons, but it’s notable that the crypto market has experienced ongoing fluctuations for years. As of recent, we’ve been experiencing high levels of inflation, interest rate hikes and weak economic growth, which have shown to be contributing factors to this market volatility. Alongside global economic factors, we’re seeing some crypto companies struggling because of high-risk moves amid crypto price volatility.

8. Could you give a sneak peek into the recent developments at Bitcoin IRA?
With accelerated growth over the last two years, the goal this year is to refine the details of our platform to streamline better customer experience. Along with the 60+ cryptocurrencies we currently offer, we’re also always reviewing additional assets. Most importantly, we’re focused on taking the lessons learned from crypto and applying them to other asset classes in the world, notably real estate, IRA-owned trusts, among others.

9. How do you think technology is changing the financial services business landscape? What are some big technological shifts/trends you expect to take place in the next 5-10 years?
From our perspective, it’s clear that blockchain and crypto applications will have an impact on the financial services landscape over the next 5-10 years. As with most elements of the economy, the consumer is defining a new rule set. We are just scratching the surface with blockchain adaptions like web3, with web5 as the new future of the decentralized web. It’s evident that blockchain applications may be the catalyst for the next evolution of financial services.

“Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies are revolutionizing the way people invest, especially with their traditional IRAs and Bitcoin Roth IRAs.”

10. What are your plans for expansion and growth? Top priorities for 2022?
We continue to expand our team in key departments and will carry on with navigating the everchanging landscape of the crypto industry.

11. What is the biggest piece of advice you would want to give to company leaders?
Listen to your employees – at the end of the day, your employees are your biggest consumers and advocates. Avoid analysis paralysis – speeding to market is a critical element to success. Excellence through basics – start small and think big.

12. Where do your passions lie? What do you think defines you as a person?
Family always comes first. I also invest my time in mentoring and serving as the ultimate resource for those trying to grow in the crypto industry. Outside of work, golf is my form of meditation and release.

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FTB News Desk

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