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Posted by Pat Raskob

What Happens to Bitcoins When You Die?

What Happens to Bitcoins When You Die?

Cryptocurrency has become the most delinquent and high-gaining investment of the modern era. The long-term investment has led people to ask what happens to Bitcoin (BTC) when the owner dies? A study conducted in 2020 by the Cremation Institute concluded that more than 90% of these asset owners are worried about the next of kin after they pass away. Crypto investors hardly use their assets for inheritance. 

White paper clearly reveals that Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer system of digital cash used for online payments directly to the receiver account without any third-party involvement. The number of unowned assets due to death has hit millions of dollars, and Bitcoin amounts to 4 million or 68 billion dollars are missing due to the owner's death. This happens because many people have no idea that Bitcoin can be bequeathed to a new owner. 

The industry has many ways for investors to surrender their Bitcoin to a beneficiary. Each method requires a deliberate decision, planning, and knowledge of digital assets. Here are some methods of bequeathing Bitcoin to a beneficiary.

 Accessing Bitcoin While You're Alive

Bitcoin is not controlled by a central system granting access to everyone on the Blockchain. It runs on an open-source code through a peer-to-peer system not owned by a central authority. Digital cash is available to the public to buy and control a robust network. The payment is secure electronic transactions through a Bitcoin wallet. Every account has a virtual key made of a 64-digit passcode. Investors control all parts of their investment against fraud.

The crypto sphere has billions of unclaimed assets lost due to death. These assets are unclaimed because no one has the credentials or account details to access them. While no one wishes for death or knows the time of death, it makes sense to write your crypto asset to your beneficiary.

Sharing keys with trusted beneficiary

Each account has a key that can be willed to a beneficiary, trusted friend, or family member. The method is easily achieved and used by famous Bitcoin owners. Many people use this technique to secure the future of their Bitcoin, but not everyone agrees with the method. The method is a bit risky as shared keys can leak assets making it hard to secure investments. If this method suits you, ensure your plan is discussed with your heir to avoid leakages in assets security.

Some exchanges accept a death certificate.

Death certificates are accepted in some Blockchain networks. These networks allow family or loved ones to climb a dead person's assets using some credentials like a death certificate. Coinbase, for example, is a U.S based crypto network and wallet that offers an opportunity for the bereaved family to claim Bitcoin by providing the necessary document and the last will.

The network also allows the inclusion of a beneficiary in the account. However, the service is indirectly operated by an estate planning lawyer but through the Coinbase network.

Crypto inheritance services: Are they worth it?

These are projects to ensure there is a bequeath of assets after death occurs. Companies such as Casa, Safe Haven, and TrustVerse are created to boost this course. They provide a solution to heirs or family members after the death of a blockchain or cryptography owner. Some of these platforms also offer a transfer of social media profiles.  

Although these services' function is to end unclaimed assets after the owner's death, they are still in their trying phases and also attract a fee. Others also charge a subscription fee of $5 each month. A backup to some of these solutions may cost at least $20 -$40 in SHA.



Pat Raskob
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