After having attended a three day crypto workshop,
the big take home was about Security.
No matter the age, something that we all need to think about is, what happens to our assets if something happens to us? In other words, what about our beneficiaries?
Most people go to lawyers, especially when they have a family to consider, and set up provisions in a WILL. What happens if you are a 16–20 year old and have successfully acquire significant wealth with crypto investments? It’s highly unlikely you will have told anyone about your wallets, private keys and so forth rendering your wealth impossible for your loved ones to gain access too.
I can see a 16 year old sitting and reading this and shifting from the thought that they are invincible compared to a 45 year old married person who has obligations to a family, to a realization that they need to provide information about what they are doing to those that they leave behind.
I was at a party only last week and speaking to the wife of guy who is creating an ICO. She said she and her husband had been to a solicitor and the advice they had received was that he needed to write down every assets he had and place it into a secure location. REALLY??? This was in case if anything happened to him, his wife would be able to get hold of this information. She readily admitted thag she had no idea what assets he had or what he was doing. She was happy to be a stay at home mum for their son, but was as a little concerned as he had been diagnosed with a skin cancer.
It’s easy to take advice, it’s another thing to do something about it.
In another case, friends of mine went away on holiday and the guy felt unwell but played it down, as men tend to do. Unfortunately the next day he died. His partner had left everything to him thus had no idea about savings accounts, assets, documents and so forth. Sound familiar? His tech savvy kids and IT colleagues couldn’t get into his computer as he had triple encrypted it, so where does that leave his partner and kids?
Today early adopters, from a variety of ages are building up their crypto assets. They may have accumulated assets which their family has little or no knowledge about. Who should be the beneficiary of that estate if an accident or illness consumes them?
Let’s have a look at what we mean by beneficiaries. According to the dictionary, a beneficiary is:
A person who derives advantage from something,
especially a trust, will, or life insurance policy.
If you do not have a Will, generally assets go to the family (if there is one), however the Government may have a say on how the distribution occurs based on legislation. The law in many countries also looks at common in law- relationships/marriage. Depending where you are and if you are in a defacto relationship or marriage (ie living or not living together without marriage), then the ‘what’s yours is yours’ rule doesn’t apply anymore. In other countries ‘common in law marriage/relationships’ do not exist and other terms are used. In most cases, whether married or living together, if you split or partner is deceased, you generally have the same obligations as a married couple. Consideration is given to the length of time you are together and many other factors.
(Source: Lander & Rogers lawyers; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common-law_marriage )
The law aside, we are all party to KYC and or Accredited Investor requirements throughout the world if purchasing crypto or ICO tokens.. Our information is no longer private, however we need to examine our own assets and consider how we look after our own information, for ourselves and our beneficiaries. Even if we follow the trail of finding out what assets our loved ones have, if we don’t have proof, documents, private keys, we have nothing in the eyes of the law.
Bridge Protocol for example is building new tools and standards about how information is managed, protected and utilised for businesses and ICO’s through their, Bridge Management system, Bridge Certificates and microservices at community level. Last Pass, a password manager, vault and digital wallet is something I use to store my information. Other encryption tools include brands such as VeraCrypt, Disk Utility, GNU Privacy Guard and double and triple encryption tools such as AES, Serpent and Twofish. These and many more are available for laptops and some different one for mobiles.
I will say one thing, it’s an absolute pain to accumulate all your information into one place. Its takes time and a concerted effort. Documents need to be uploaded, information written and then if you have bank accounts, share accounts, property assets, crypto wallets and keys, websites — hosting accounts, domains, business licenses, insurances, tax and it goes on, you need to record it all. When you have done this, suddenly you’ll remember that there is more information you forgot to add. We have a tendency to keep our information in many places, laptops, safes, on paper in files, in the cloud, so compiling it all into one SAFE place is a necessity.
Though the Blockchain provides us with an additional layer of security this is only a generic step and not a personalised one. Lily Hay Newman, last year wrote an article in Wired where she stated:
Cryptocurrencies can feel secure, because they decentralize and
often anonymize digital transactions. They also validate everything on public,
tamper-resistant blockchains. But those measures don’t make cryptocurrencies
any less susceptible to the types of simple, time-honored
scams grifters have relied on in other venues.
Though it’s important to understand how the Blockchain works, what we are going to focus on in this article is that which is manageable by us, in the crypto world.
When I first delved into crypto I joined a number of exchanges. Some of them required a certain level of investment, others were taking ages to process applications of KYC because of the numbers of people joining. Some were simple to use, others more complicated.
I had to keep a record of everything, id, passwords, public and private keys, email addresses, seed phrases. Even when I had written it all down, I then had to then remember where I stored it, as I as becoming paranoid with security.
I was going beserk, with the amount of data I needed to input.
In most cases, you will never use every exchange you join, or every wallet you download. Eventually you will find a main wallet/exchange or you may use a couple, but how will beneficiaries know which ones if you have a record of soooo many. You also need to make notes by your information so it explains things clearly for those having to learn about your assets.
Andreas Antonopoulos, the famed crypto-entrepreneur and author of Mastering Bitcoin said, “nothing teaches someone about security faster than having their Bitcoin on a Windows machine”. In other words when it gets hacked and someone steals your coins, then you start taking precautions about security.
According to Daniel Jeffries in an article in Hackernoon, ‘people are always the weakest link in security’ he goes on to say,
Computer security is a war. The jets you’re flying against are faster,
more maneuverable, just like the enemy MIGS.” Virus writers today
have scrum teams, unit tests and release cycles. It’s no longer
some “400 pound hacker” rolling solo to send some email. There’s big
money in malware. They’re out for your money and your life.
So the lessons to be learnt from this article:
SECURITY, SECURITY, SECURITY, BACK-UP, BACK-UP, BACK-UP. Got It???
Dynamic Mix is an organization that works within the communication, IT and cybersecurity areas. We have compiled a template for you to start working on securing your crypto assets so that if anything does happen to you, then your family, loved ones or even friends may benefits from what you leave behind.
For a copy of the Checklist: Securing your Cryptocurrency, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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The information provided in this article does not constitute any other sort of advice, and you should not treat any of the content as such. Dynamic Mix will strive to ensure accuracy of information listed in this article although it will not hold any responsibility for any missing or wrong information. You understand that you are using any and all information available here AT YOUR OWN RISK. You should take adequate steps to verify the accuracy and completeness of any information.