Everywhere you go, people are talking about cryptocurrency as an investment. From Bitcoin to Etherium to Dogecoin, there are a whole bunch of different cryptocurrencies that consumers can invest in. More people are starting to use cryptocurrency to pay for things and it is also gaining wider acceptance as an investment (albeit a very volatile one that isn’t for the faint of heart).
If you’re getting divorced and your spouse is knowledgeable about investing, you need to be aware of cryptocurrency as a way to hide assets. Experts say that more than 20 million Americans own cryptocurrency, and it can be difficult to divide in a divorce.
But first you have to find it.
Many times there are clues that a cryptocurrency account exists. (A cryptocurrency “wallet” is used to hold the proof of your digital currency.) Money has to get into the crypto account somehow. Often that is an electronic transfer from a bank account to a company like Coinbase (a platform used to buy and sell various cryptocurrencies). If this transfer is from a known bank account, we obviously will have proof that a party is investing in crypto. If the party is using cash or an account we don’t know about, it has just gotten exponentially harder.
- The value of cryptocurrency can change very quickly. The prices are very volatile, and there have been massive swings in the prices.
- There are tax consequences to trading crypto, just like there are for trading traditional investments.
- How to transfer cryptocurrency if it is going to be divided between the spouses.
I am seeing this issue more and more when I am doing lifestyle analysis work in divorce cases. I know it’s going to become an even bigger issue in the next year or two, so I’m doing everything I can to learn more about cryptocurrency and develop procedures for investigating it.