For retirement investing, the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is considered one of the best tools to earn and earmark funds for a financially secure life. Over the years, the assets which can be chosen for such funds have expanded beyond traditional investment vehicles such as stocks and mutual funds. Individuals can now hold assets such as real estate, promissory notes, tax lien certificates, private placement securities, gold and even cryptocurrencies by routing funds into self-directed IRAs. (See also: How To Add Bitcoins To Your Retirement Account)

Among the non-traditional options of investment, cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, Ethereum​ and Ripple, are extremely sought after. This has given rise to an increasing number of players offering the option of investing in virtual currencies for IRA purposes.The Internal Revenue Service (IRSstates, “For federal tax purposes, virtual currency is treated as property. General tax principles applicable to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency.” (See also:The First-Ever Ethereum IRA is a Game-Changer)

Bitcoin IRA was the first company to allow individuals to purchase bitcoins for an IRS-approved retirement account. It was followed by the addition of Ethereum in April, and now the company is adding the choice to invest in the digital asset XRP. In the coming weeks, Bitcoin IRA plans to announce the option of additional alternative VCs including Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, and Bitcoin Cash. (See also: Ripple Is Emerging as a Stable and Trusted Cryptocurrency)

“Demand from our customers has been immense. XRP is a unique innovation in modernizing cross-border payments using superior blockchain​ technology. We’re excited to feature XRP and work with BitGo to bring this extraordinary asset opportunity to market,” said Chris Kline, COO of Bitcoin IRA.

In August, IRA Financial Group announced the Checkbook Control option, which allows people to buy, sell, or hold bitcoins and other cryptocurrency assets such as ether, ether classic, or litecoins. (See also: Litecoin Hits All-Time High)

Goldco has formed a new subsidiary called Coin IRA to cater to investors looking to invest in cryptocurrencies. It’s currently offering the option of investing in bitcoins for IRA.

Digital IRA offers the choice of Bitcoin and Ethereum​, in addition to the conventional assets, to invest in retirement accounts. Not too long ago, Broad Financial introduced the option to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

We also have HonestBlock, which is set to roll out its Bitcoin IRA very soon. Brock Pierce, co-founder of HonestBlock, told Investopedia, “We have been interested in the IRA and 401K space for some time now, I am happy to announce that HonestBlock has finalized its partnership agreements with our liquidity partner and custodian. We are looking to launch a premium and low cost retirement solution in the coming weeks.”

Even conventional players such as Fidelity have dipped their toes in the cryptocurrency space. It allows its customers to view their Coinbase digital asset balances as part of their portfolio hosted on its website.

Currently about 19% Americans actively contribute to an IRA account with only 5% of them taking full advantage of this savings tool by contributing more than $5,000 a year to IRAs, as per a TIAA survey. With the addition of cryptocurrencies​ to the list of assets, investments in retirement accounts may see an uptrend, especially among millennials. (See also: Top Alternative Investments for Retirement)