Amidst the current, global coronavirus pandemic, cryptocurrency holders are demanding inheritance services as they wish for their coins to be passed on to heirs in the event of death.
More Bitcoin Firms Asked to Provide Inheritance Services
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the global dynamics, in terms of health and economy. The financial markets, including cryptocurrencies, have been underperforming for the past few months. Due to the uncertainties created by the outbreak, people are taking preventive measures to ensure their assets are not lost when they die.
Some cryptocurrency startups have reported an increase in demand for inheritance services as crypto holders wish to ensure that their investments are passed on to their next of kin in the event of their death.
Casa and Unchained Capital are both reporting a surging demand for proof-of-death or similar multi-signature wallet schemes that would see a customer’s BTC reserve transferred to their loved ones following an untimely death.
The chief product officer at Unchained Capital, Will Cole, stated that currently, and over the past few weeks, they are witnessing a high demand from their customers for vaults, which they set up via trust and other inheritance supported entities.
Bitcoin was designed with a seizure-resistant technology that makes it impossible to transfer the coins without the consent of the owner or someone holding the private key. For Bitcoin to serve as money, it will need to have an infrastructure that allows assets to be passed to the next of kin in the event of a medical accident or an untimely death.
The chief executive of Casa, Nick Neuman, stated that more than half of the company’s sales prospects in recent times are specifically asking about their inheritance service, Casa Covenant. Casa, which is known for providing user-friendly private key storage solutions, has tripled its number of customers in March, compared to what it had in January and February combined for its Diamond class product, which houses their inheritance service.
Neuman pointed out that Casa is now looking to add the inheritance feature to the company’s first- and second-tier services, Gold and Platinum, as soon as they can. He stated that they allow their clients to hold their private keys and securely transfer their Bitcoin to their heirs. However, they can do that without necessarily relinquishing control of their BTC reserve to a third-party entity.
Ethereum Looking at Similar Services
The ability to transfer assets after the death of a holder is not limited to Bitcoin only. Ethereum, Bitcoin’s major competitor and the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has been working on including such a feature in its Alfred project.
Ethereum developers have been working on creating a suite of tools that allows people to transfer tokens under the ERC-20 and ERC-721 standards. In this way, several cryptocurrency tokens can be transferred to one’s loved ones following a medical emergency or an untimely death.
According to developer Seth Goldfarb, the project would have two parts. The first part is an oracle service tasked with constantly scanning public records for death announcements. Meanwhile, the second part would be an escrow.
When the oracle detects the death of a subscriber, the escrow will initiate a countdown to send the user’s crypto assets to a family member or any chosen third party. Goldfarb added that there is a ‘life alert’ button to stop the transaction from going through in case the user is still alive. At the moment, this project remains in development.