According to a news post by Business Insider, Royds Withy King, a UK law firm is handling three divorce cases where cryptocurrency dispute is part of the divorce proceedings. The post claims that spouses in each of the three cases are demanding for the full disclosure of cryptocurrency assets. To ensure the equitable sharing of these digital assets as part of the divorce settlement process. The only problem is that there are neither precedents nor laws to guide such a process and it is another startling reminder of how underdeveloped the regulatory environment of cryptocurrency is.
Of the three cases currently handled by Royds Withy King, one of them involves a considerably large bitcoin stash valued at $830,000. According to the report, the husband began investing in bitcoin a while back and had managed to create a sizeable bitcoin investment portfolio. Due to the meteoric rise in the price of bitcoin, the husband’s initial investment of $110,000 has now risen quite substantially to be worth $830,000 which is about 85 bitcoin using the current price. Apparently, the wife wants full disclosure and sharing of the bitcoin fortune as part of the divorce.
No Provisions for Bitcoin as an Alimony
With the rising profile of bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market in general, gone are the days when digital holdings were not considered valuable. Unless in the case of a particularly bitter divorce, it was most unlikely to see a spouse make any fuss about Pokémon cards or any other kind of collectible. These days, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are even seen as being more valuable than most other assets. One problem with cryptocurrencies though is the lack of regulation and the availability of laws to guide civil disputes that are ubiquitous in asset management cases. News broke out recently of a man who has been unable to get a hold of his late son’s bitcoin holdings in another case of the unavailability of concrete laws to govern the crypto-space.
Some lawyers and legal experts are of the opinion that this trend will continue. According to Vandana Chitroda, a partner at Royds Withy King, this is only the beginning, and there are bound to more cases like this in the near future. Vandana believes that the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies will make them become a big part of the settlement process of many divorce cases. With divorce rates in many developed countries pushing well past the 50 percent mark, it is almost a given that a proportion of them will involve cryptocurrency disputes. Legal experts like Vandana advice people who invest in cryptocurrency or whose spouses have invested in cryptocurrencies and are seeking a divorce should endeavor to have adequate legal counsel.
While the wait continues for the emergence of definitive cryptocurrency laws across critical pain-points such as these kinds of civil and legal disputes, it clear that issue like these will keep reoccurring. There are some who are opposed to government interference in cryptocurrency operations, but there is no doubt that regulations are required if the market is to flourish.