Evolution Of Divorcing Couples- From Disputing About Kids To Disputing About Crypto Assets

Evolution Of Divorcing Couples- From Disputing About Kids to Disputing About Crypto Assets
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Have you heard of a divorce case that lasted just as long as the marriage did? You might have. But have you heard of a divorce case that lasted so long because of crypto assets? Well, today the ever-so-surprising crypto industry has another mind-boggling news to share. A very rich couple from San Francisco, Francis DeSouza and Erica DeSouza, have fought for the custody of their kids, the fate of their luxurious home and also about bitcoins that are worth in millions. Let us see this famous and first of its kind bitcoin divorce case in a little detail. 

The DeSouza couple separated in 2013, before which the tech executive husband had a little over 1,000 Bitcoins in his name. Upon an unfortunate collapse of a prominent crypto exchange, he lost almost half of his dear funds. It was after three long years of litigation, in 2020 that a San Francisco appeals court ordered him to give his soon-to-be ex-wife, Erica, more than $6 million of his remaining Bitcoin assets. 

No divorces are any less of an emotional pain already, and now the couples fight over the distribution of crypto assets. With regular assets, the tracking is much simpler as not only are they backed by fiat currency but are also regulated by some or the other central institution. But with digital assets like Bitcoins, their working on a decentralized technology makes the tracking very difficult and time consuming. Taking advantage of this disadvantage, divorcing spouses often underreport or misreport, even hide their digital investments and similar such transactions. 

Though the frauds in the crypto industry are rising, the fraudsters often forget that the records of transactions are just difficult to track and take a lot of time, but it is not ‘Mission Impossible’, as the transactions are recorded on a public ledger. With such a system of the blockchain technology, detectives or analysts can track the funds. Forensic science has developed a lot too, so the disadvantage of the digital assets can be overcome when the issue is just of tracking. Moreover, it being a decentralized system, a court can only order an exchange platform to deliver the funds. When it comes to accessing the account of an investor, a digital key is very essential. Online wallets where crypto assets are stored cannot be accessed by anyone without the key. 

Talking about his experience in the matter, a New York based investigator- Nick Himonidis revealed about a case where the wife had suspected the husband of underreporting his crypto assets. Upon checking the husband’s laptop with a legal approval, Himonidis came across a digital wallet that held around $700,000 worth of Monero. Citing another case, Himonidis also spilled the beans about a husband had moved out $2 million worth of cryptocurrency from his Coinbase account a week after the couple had filed for divorce, and also fled the country. 

Also Read: Crypto Exchange Binance To Take Stake In Forbes Through A $200m Investment

As of the divorcing DeSouza couple, Francis DeSouza was ordered to give Erica about half of the total Bitcoins he owned before the prominent crypto exchange fell after finding that he had not followed the rules of investment appraisals. With this, his bitcoin assets are now worth about $2.5 million while Erica DeSouza’s total assets are worth way more. By way more we mean, about $23 million. 

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