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What you need to know about Bitcoin, et al.

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2018 | Property Division |

At the Law Office of Kristen L Campbell LLC in Ohio, we know that dividing your property during a divorce can be one of the most contentious issues between you and your spouse. This is particularly true if you suspect that (s)he is hiding assets in an attempt to skew your family’s overall financial picture so as to deprive you of what is rightfully yours.

Hiding assets during a divorce is nothing new. Spiteful and/or greedy spouses have been doing it for years. However, thanks to today’s technology, hiding assets is easier than ever to do by means of cryptocurrencies. As explains, a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin is virtual money. It does not exist in physical form and is therefore easy to hide.

Buying Bitcoin

If you want to buy Bitcoin, the best known of the cryptocurrencies, you can do so quite simply online. All you need is an email address to sign up. Technically, buying Bitcoin is not completely anonymous because you must link your U.S. Bitcoin account(s) to your bank account or a debit or credit card. Foreign accounts may not require this. It also is easy to buy Bitcoin for cash on one of the numerous online cash-to-Bitcoin exchanges. To make it even more pseudonymous, there are Bitcoin ATMs throughout the country.

Bitcoin wallets

Once you buy Bitcoins, you need a place to store them: something called a wallet. As with everything else associated with cryptocurrencies, wallets are electronic files located on your computer, external hard drive, thumb drive, smartphone, or online in the cloud. Wallets have long complex file names such as 1F5tAaz5x1HUXrCTLbtMDqcw6o5GNn4xqX. If you have access to your spouse’s computer, email or text messages, search for such embedded wallet addresses. They are very strong indications that your spouse has one or more Bitcoin accounts, any of which could be in a foreign country.

Additional cryptocurrencies

While Bitcoin is the oldest, most popular cryptocurrency, others exist such as the following:

  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Ripple
  • Monero

Cryptocurrencies come and go, and they are not for the faint of heart. They are more analogous to stocks than to traditional currencies. All are highly volatile and their value can fluctuate dramatically from day to day, sometimes hour to hour. Despite this volatility, however, they are an excellent way to hide assets. If you suspect that your spouse may be hiding Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies, your best strategy is to alert your attorney to your suspicions so that both you and (s)he can diligently search for them.

For more information on this subject, please visit this page on our website. 



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