Ryan Family Law, P.C.
Ryan Family Law, P.C.

Elgin, Illinois

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Are crypto and NFTs considered hidden assets?

You may suspect your spouse isn’t being honest about what assets they have hidden away, which can be a big problem during a divorce. The misrepresentation of marital assets may not accurately represent an estate and may not create a fair division process. Maybe your spouse has always been secretive about their finances – which could be the cause of your divorce – and, understandably, you want to uncover what they’re concealing or misreporting.

Your spouse could have tangible assets, such as real estate or an art collection, or intangible assets, such as copyrights or stocks, that they’ve kept secret from you, but there are new kinds of hidden assets that many people don’t know about: cryptocurrency and NFTs. These forms of digital assets have grown over the years and can be difficult to uncover. Here’s what you should know:

What are cryptocurrencies and NFTs?

Cryptocurrency is a digitally encrypted currency based on blockchain technology that fluctuates in price and can be traded for other currencies at an equal exchange. In other words, it’s a form of money that doesn’t have an exact value and, ideally to investors, can’t be easily traced. For example, while a dollar is always worth a dollar, a single crypto coin can be worth a dollar or several hundred dollars at any given time.

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are unique forms of data using similar blockchain technology. NTFs hold some value, but, unlike crypto, do not fluctuate in price. An NFT can be worth several hundred dollars and its price only change, typically, after its purchase or sale.

The purpose of blockchain technology is to help record and secure crypto and NFTs, which helps investors protect and track their assets. Such forms of blockchain technology can be easily hidden away on a computer, phone or USB and never found.

How do you find crypto and NFTs?

While blockchain technology can protect assets from being found, like any form of technology, they do leave behind a digital footprint. Because crypto and NFTs don’t exist from thin air, there may be some kind of transaction history found in bank statements.

Valuing digital assets, such as crypto and NFTs, can be difficult during the asset distribution process. If you suspect your spouse is hiding digital assets, then you may need to know your legal options.

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