Divorce is never fun and rarely simple, but when one party – generally the male – owns cryptocurrency, there’s an added layer of complexity. With cryptocurrency still relatively new as an asset class, there have been very few cases to date in which the unhappy couple have squabbled over altcoins. A British law firm professes to be handling three such cases at present, with the largest involving a tug-of-war over crypto valued at $840,000.
Kissing Goodbye to the Ball and Blockchain
It was only a matter of time until a high profile, high value crypto divorce grabbed the headlines. In the event, it was Britain that claimed the dubious honor of hosting the world’s largest cryptocurrency untethering to date. “Crypto cash divorce nightmare looming” reads the cheery press release published by UK law firm Royds Withy King, on Valentine’s Day no less. Bolstering the stereotype about opportunistic lawyers, it reads:
Royds Withy King is acting on three separate high value divorce cases where spouses are seeking the disclosure and a potential share of cryptocurrency assets. These are a first wave of cases that the firm is expecting. The three cases all involve husbands that have invested in or have purchased cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple and Ethereum.
The most lucrative of these cases – for all parties – concerns “an original investment of £80,000 [of cryptocurrency] in November 2016, which was valued at £1m in December 2017 and is now worth £600,000 [$840,000]”.
Vandana Chitroda of Royds Withy King
One of the firm’s partners speaks of there being “a traceability nightmare” in cases where a spouse hasn’t disclosed their assets. One partner’s nightmare, of course, may be another’s dream. As previously ventured on news.Bitcoin.com, “Parting with half of one’s cryptocurrency collection doesn’t come easy…Progressive males let their wife keep her surname and give up half their crypto come the divorce. Patriarchal oppressors put it