At Turken & Porzenski, LLC, we know that some Missouri spouses attempt to hide assets when facing a divorce. This is particularly popular among high-asset spouses who use various methodologies to accomplish their purposes. The only thing new about asset hiding today is the technology available to do it. Have you heard about Bitcoin?
As BlockGeeks.com explains, Bitcoin is the oldest and best known of today’s cryptocurrencies, having been around since 2008. Cryptocurrencies themselves are a relatively new phenomenon. While you can buy, sell and trade them, as well as buy many goods and services with them, they are not “real” money that you see and touch. Instead, they are virtual money that exists only as computer file entries. This aspect alone makes Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies exceedingly difficult to find and track.
If your spouse wishes to buy Bitcoins, all (s)he need do is search online for a Bitcoin exchange. Many of them exist, both here in the U.S. and in most of the developed countries, and each of them has its own rules. None of them, however, operates under any sort of governmental regulations. Consequently, they can conduct their business as they see fit and in the way that profits them the most.
Setting up an online Bitcoin account on one of these exchanges requires only an email address which can be as anonymous as one provided by Gmail, Yahoo, etc. In other words, your spouse need not reveal his or her true identity. While it is true that most U.S. exchanges require a link to the account holder’s credit or debit card, you may not be aware of all the bank accounts or credit cards to which your spouse has access.
Your spouse likewise can buy Bitcoins for cash that (s)he withdraws from a Bitcoin ATM. Once (s)he deposits the cash into the seller’s branch bank account, the seller, in turn, deposits the purchased Bitcoins into your spouse’s Bitcoin wallet.
Yes, Bitcoins “live” in Bitcoin wallets, but there is a catch. Like Bitcoins themselves, Bitcoin wallets are virtual, not “real.” All they are are files on your spouse’s computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or other electronic device. To make matters worse, both Bitcoin wallets and the cryptocurrencies within them have notoriously long and unintuitive file names. In addition, while the wallet itself may “live” on your spouse’s electronic device, the Bitcoins behind the Bitcoin file name may “live” in a foreign country. Furthermore, savvy Bitcoin buyers often maintain numerous wallets so they can quickly transfer their hidden assets from one country to another, making them even more difficult to find and track.
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