BRITISH lawyers are dealing with their first instances of ‘Bitcoin divorce’, where crypto-currencies had been listed as split assets.
Due to the anonymous nature of crypto-currencies, courts had found it increasingly difficult to conclude who owns what when attempting to ensure a fair pay out.
In a sign of things to come, British courts are now deploying digital forensic experts to analyse data and discover whether someone is concealing any of their wealth in cryptocurrency.
Vandana Chitroda, a partner at law firm Royds Withy King, said she was currently dealing with three cases where the husband owned either Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple or Ethereum.
“These are the first cases we have seen, and we expect to see many more,” Chitroda said.
“There will also be those divorces where a spouse may not have disclosed such assets, leaving a traceability nightmare.”
Part of the difficulty, Chitroda explained, was the fluctuating price of cryptocurrency, meaning valuing the commodity was difficult and had to be regularly updated.
In one case, a husband had invested £80,000 in Bitcoin back in November 2016.
The investment was then valued at £1 million in December 2017, before falling to £600,000 in February 2018.
As the divorce process takes eight months on average, Chitroda said different valuations constantly had to be given to the court.