“Humans die. Cryptocurrencies don’t”

Traditional investors are usually familiar with ensuring that their investments are properly accounted for and accessible in regards to estate planning.  However, have savvy cryptocurrency investors thought to not only provide for their digital assets in their wills, but most importantly leave detailed instructions on HOW their heirs or trusted third parties can access those digital assets? 

One of the core philosophies behind the invention of cryptocurrencies is the belief that investors should retain complete control of their own money, with a common phrase being, ‘be your own bank’.  With Bitcoin’s price up over 1000% in 2017 alone, there have been numerous stories surfacing, of investors dying and their loved ones not being able to access their mounting crypto fortunes.

With the fast pace of both the crypto markets and mainstream adoption, this question is quickly becoming a crucial one.   The largest share of cryptocurrency investors are millennials and research indicates that fewer than 25% of millennials have wills.

Pamela Morgan, a US lawyer who specialises in cryptocurrencies has stated in a blog post:

‘With self-controlled assets, ignoring our own mortality comes at a cost to our descendants, dependents, community groups, and political causes because our keys, and therefore access to the assets, could die with us. Humans die. Cryptocurrencies don’t.’

It would be prudent for cryptocurrency investors to keep up to date information on their cryptocurrency portfolio including instructions on locations of private keys, locations of the different wallets that may be in use, such as paper wallets (for instance our Ainslie Bullion paper wallets), hardware wallets (Ledger Nano S and Trezor), mobile phone and desktop wallets.   Often the case may be that the heirs have not been involved with cryptocurrencies at all.  Therefore, instructions on how to access these wallets including the necessary passwords and other security measures which may have been set up for example – 2 Factor Authentication.  

In this space especially the more detailed the instructions and thorough the record keeping, the higher the possibility of heirs being able to successfully access their inheritance.  Purchasing from Ainslie means you get an invoice clearly stating the owner, the amount bought and price paid, and the address to which the crypto was sent.  Storing this with your crypto wallet somewhere like Reserve Vault means you can rest easy knowing there won’t be any ambiguity over your hard earned going ‘missing’ as only the executor or someone nominated by you will ultimately gain access.