People have attempted to conceal money during divorces for decades in Michigan, but with the help of a lawyer, spouses can quickly uncover the assets. The recent rise in cryptocurrency, however, makes divorce even more convoluted. A person can hide their money by investing in bitcoin and leave behind little to no paper trail.
So, what exactly is bitcoin? According to CNN, bitcoin was created in 2009 by someone anonymous using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is transferred without the use of banks or other third parties. Users can hide their real identities through using only a wallet ID number. Wallets can be stored in a cloud, on the computer or even on a USB drive. The versatility makes it easier to hide from a spouse.
Bitcoin’s worth fluctuates
The valuation of bitcoin changes wildly every day. Bloomberg reports that bitcoin dropped in worth from $20,000 to $6,000 between December 2017 to February 2018. Because of the constant valuation changes, some couples going through a divorce may choose to simply split the bitcoin assets rather than attempting to assign a specific value to each person.
Finding hidden assets
When a spouse tries to hide assets through bitcoin, it can be difficult for a court to issue an injunction to prove it since there is no third party controlling the money. However, transactions can be traced through a forensic analyst. These specialists can pinpoint the transfers and withdrawals that are harder to cover up.
When a spouse is caught hiding money, they will most likely receive far less money from the marital property division as a consequence. They could even face charges in court.