Crypto in SMSFs Australia: Rules and Who Can Help You with Them

By Ben Knight May 24, 2024

The rise of cryptocurrency as a recognised asset class has led to an increasing number of Australians incorporating digital assets into their retirement portfolios. This trend highlights how self-managed super funds (SMSFs) empower individuals to manage their personal assets held in their retirement fund directly, including the option to include cryptocurrencies.

Since 2019, the investment in cryptocurrencies within SMSFs has significantly increased, rising by 400%. A report from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) in the fourth quarter of 2023 highlighted that approximately AUD $1 billion is now held in crypto assets within SMSFs. With the introduction of Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), there are now more avenues for investors to engage with a wider range of crypto-related products. Keep in mind, however, that spot Bitcoin ETFs have been available in Australia for a few years now. 

What is a Crypto SMSF?

In theory, there is no such thing as a crypto SMSF, however, SMSFs allow individuals to invest in crypto through their retirement fund, among other assets. 

A self-managed super fund (SMSF) is a retirement pension that is controlled by an individual, rather than a Fund Manager. This means a broader range of assets is typically available for an SMSF, due to it not being restricted by the Fund Managers approved investments list – think property, artwork, vintage wine and of course, crypto. An SMSFs crypto investments must adhere to its investment strategy mandate and meet the sole purpose test.


When purchasing smsf assets, they typically need to be acquired through a specific SMSF exchange account, separate from your individual trading account. Digital currencies must then be securely stored in a wallet dedicated to the retirement fund and not a wallet used for individual trading. Digital assets are treated similarly to other assets in an SMSF, meaning detailed transaction and valuation records must be kept.

Yes, it is completely legal for Australians to add cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana into their self-managed super funds. However, there are several compliance requirements that you must meet when operating an SMSF, including tax reporting and complying with the investment mandate of the fund. Failure to comply can result in fines or even jail time. 

SMSF Specialists in Australia

Setting up an SMSF can be a complicated and intimidating process. That’s why it is recommended for Aussies looking to add crypto to their smsf funds to consult an expert. Below are a couple of our preferred commercial partners:

1. Easy Super

Easy Super is an Australian company dedicated to helping Aussies set up and manage their self-managed super portfolios. The business was founded by Natalia Clack, an award-winning accountant with over 20 years working in the industry. Easy Super is focussed on compliance, ensuring they can solve your complex SMSF problems. The team is happy to assist clients who wish to add digital currencies to their retirement portfolios, help with tax filing and ensure all other important SMSF documentation is up to scratch.

Business name: Easy Super


  • Establishment package (starting an SMSF): $7,700
  • SMSF Annual compliance: from $2,200


  • Technical support
  • SMSF setup (Statement of Advice, SMSF investment strategy etc.)
  • SMSF and tax advice
  • Annual audits and tax return
  • Compliance checks
  • Support for complex assets like cryptocurrency or property

2. Tax on Chain

Tax on Chain is a crypto-centric accounting firm led by director and Chartered Accountant Oliver Woodbridge. The company focuses on all things crypto for businesses and individuals, providing solutions for blockchain-specific events like yield farming, airdrops and NFT collections. The team can also help Aussies set up and manage an SMSF, putting you in direct contact with one of Tax on Chain’s crypto accountants.

Business name: Tax on Chain


  • Establishment costs: $2,200
  • Accounting costs: $1,600
  • Annual audit fee: $500


  • Crypto SMSF set up
  • Tax solutions for businesses and individuals
  • Annual audits and tax returns
  • Technical support

3. Cryptocate

Cryptocate has been connecting Australian crypto investors with accountants since 2017. The company offers tax support for crypto users of all kinds – whether you’re a high-frequency professional institution, individual or an advanced trader looking for help with an SMSF. Cryptocate is more of an add-on than an all-in-one package – you will still need an accountant to file the official SMSF documents. However, the team can ensure compliance for sophisticated crypto investment strategies.

Business name: Cryptocate


  • Starter: from $1,200
  • Professional: from $2,200


  • Tax reporting for businesses, individuals and SMSFs
  • Up to 11 hours of tax and technical support for professionals
  • Data verification and transaction categorisation 
  • DeFi activity compliance 

4. New Brighton Capital

New Brighton Capital is a superannuation accounting firm that has been active in Australia since 2017. The team specifically specialises in crypto investors and can assist those with pre-existing super funds transfer their assets. New Brighton Capital can also help with the SMSF creation process, yearly compliance auditing and administration.

Business name: New Brighton Capital


  • Set up costs: $1,600
  • Monthly costs: $150 per month


  • SMSF creation and administration
  • Annual compliance and audit checks
  • Assistance with the transfer of SMSF ownership
  • Five major crypto exchanges can be used (including Swyftx, Independent Reserve and CoinSpot)
  • Hardware wallet support

Sign Up to an Exchange

SMSF administrators can help you out with compliance solutions and taxation advice. What they can’t do is invest on your behalf. Therefore SMSF holders need an avenue to buy Bitcoin or crypto. The most common way of doing this is through a reputable, Australian-based and AUSTRAC-registered crypto exchange. 

View our guide to finding the best crypto exchange

If you use an SMSF account at an exchange, it must always be separate from your regular trading account, and crypto should be stored in a dedicated wallet. SMSF administrators will likely have a list of supported crypto exchanges – typically, those with a good reputation that are based in Australia.

Examples include:

  • Swyftx
  • Independent Reserve
  • Coinjar

In most instances, you will need to book a consultation with the trading platform before you can open an SMSF account.

How is Crypto Taxed in an SMSF?

Generally, the primary advantage of SMSF investing in crypto is tax advantages. Australia offers several appealing tax breaks for those who invest via superannuation. 

Generally, just like with normal superannuation, SMSF holders can voluntarily contribute up to $27,500 annually to grow their portfolios while minimising income tax. 

Generally, SMSFs are taxed at a concessional rate of 15%, which is much lower than most other income tax brackets. This figure is doubled (to 30%) for those with an annual salary of $250K or more – but still often represents significant tax savings, however, this will depend on personal circumstances. 

Similarly, the capital gains tax (CGT)– which occurs when taking the profits of an asset in your SMSF – is 15% for SMSFs. This figure can be halved if the crypto being disposed of is held for 12+ months before sale. 

What is the Risk of an SMSF?

An SMSF is a popular method people use to gain control of their retirement funds, however, it doesn’t come without its downsides. 

The biggest risk comes with compliance. The regulatory requirements of administrating an SMSF are stringent, and failure to meet these rules can result in significant fines. This is why using a trusted accountant is generally a good idea when managing an SMSF.

Additionally, if your SMSF is subject to fraud or theft, you are exempt from certain compensatory plans and access to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. 

Additionally, It’s more common for individuals with a starting fund of $150K or more to opt for self-managed superannuation.

How Can I Set Up an SMSF?

Setting up an SMSF requires several steps. You must create a trustee structure, draft a SMSF trust deed (outlining SMSF’s investment strategy and exit strategies), open a dedicated bank account, register an ABN, hire an accountant and acquire an electronic service address. All the while, you must ensure you have a means of accurately recording and reporting transaction data.

This process can seem pretty complex – because it is. That’s why a lot of people without accounting or SMSF experience opt for consulting an expert to help them set up their self-managed super fund.

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.