1 min read
A bizarre topic, I know, I know, but shit can happen. Yeah? And no, of course I don’t mean “death” of bitcoin, but miners and owners. I would like to ask you something.
If something is virtual, can it be inherited after someone’s death? You know, it isn’t lol, that is serious question.
And unfortunately it’s already happened.
It happened to the family of young man who died in his early 30th’s.
A family of young men, Matthew Moody from California found themselves facing this problem. Namely, Matthew was one of the early miners of the cryptocurrency, or rather bitcoin. Then, when mining didn’t need special equipment, a dozen graphics cards and their own power plant in the basement. Time of crypto – pioneers.
But Matthew died five years ago, and he also left behind the bitcoins. Nobody pay attention about it but as the value of bitcoins grew, his family wanted to take over them. And then there was a problem in front of them. There were no lawyer who can give them advice or help because inheriting bitcoins was totally new area. Cryptocurrencies were unknown area.
The question is can the bitcoins be inherited?
Matthew’s father tried to determine how much bitcoin left his son behind, but without the key to accessing a virtual wallet, it seemed like a mission impossible. The problem is that there is no rule to regulate what is happening with bitcoin (or any other virtual currency) after the death of the owner.
Unlike them, the classic money deposited in the bank can be reached even after the death of the owner if you prove that you are a heir.
In the case of bitcoin, there is no centralized body (which is the main advantage at the same time) that would solve such problems, and even the classic legal bodies actually do not know what and how to solve this problem.
Issue on legislation
This will be one of the issues that legislators will have to deal with if they want to regulate crypts and their use in the future. Desiring that such bitcoins do not end up on a garbage, stock exchanges dealing with the trade of cryptitudes are considering introducing the security mechanisms that would be activated after the death of account owners, which would simultaneously allow the heirs to reach those cryptos.
Some of the biggest brokers like CoinBase (and they are maybe unique), have established a kind of custodial service that keeps the user’s private keys. The same ones without which it is impossible to access the user account or wallet.
If something happens to the owner, those asks the successor for proof of death and inheritance in order to transfer funds to his heirs.
But users are those who will ultimately have to take into account and include the inheritance of cryptos into their wills. Or at least notify family members that they own a crypto and where it is stored.
The point is, do not forget your cryptos and leave them out of your will. I mean, it’s smart to do this if you love your family.
Including with the key, of course.