Ever wondered what will become of your digital assets when you finally go on to the great beyond?
We all know that a cryptocurrency is a digital asset with monetary value protected by unbreakable cryptography. This attribute makes cryptocurrencies attractive because it makes them a secure way to store wealth, but on the other hand, this may also be a major challenge because when a crypto holder becomes deceased, their virtual assets may become infinitely inaccessible. I bet this does not sound like a great succession plan.
Cryptocurrencies are kept secure in virtual wallets. These wallets use a public key as a medium for sending and receiving cryptocurrencies. We also have what is called the private key. This is what gives the holder of a crypto wallet access to what the virtual wallet contains.
God forbid that a crypto owner passes on without disclosing his private key to his heirs. The resultant effect is that the content of his virtual wallet becomes inaccessible.
Not long ago, the curious people of the Cremation Research Institute conducted a study to find out if the owners of cryptocurrencies had succession or devolution plans for their virtual assets when they go on to the great beyond. It will interest you to know that it was discovered that 89% of Cryptocurrency investors worry about what will become of their assets when they die. Ironically, this worrying has not given many cryptocurrency investors a cosmic kick up their back side to put plans in place for their virtual properties when they die.
It is alarming that only a few, 23%, have written Wills or have established a Trust to help guide the appropriation of their digital assets when they are dead.
Coinmetrics revealed that our planet already boasts of 12,000 Bitcoin millionaires in the world. The same way crypto millionaires are on the rise, a sad number of crypto investors die every 365 days. It is unfortunate that, most times, their families are faced with the challenge of accessing the deceased’s millions in digital assets. In fact, Coincover disclosed that about 4 million Bitcoin which translates to about 40 billion USD has gone to flames following the death of a number of crypto owners.
It then becomes disturbing that a sizable number of crypto investors, especially the millennials, are being negligent on this subject. The older generation appear to have put more plans in place as regards devolving their virtual assets upon their death.
The reason for this is not far fetched. There really is a dearth of digital estate services to help crypto holders in this area. It is a wise crypto attorney that will take this hint.
On a personal level, a crypto owner should endeavour to disclose his private key to a “trusted someone”. He will in turn secure it in a flash memory drive or with a commercial organization that secures same.
It is advisable to use a good commercial service that secures private keys.