BusinessCryptoPersonal Finance

This Is What Happens To Your Bitcoins When You Die

Death isn’t something we as Africans like to think or talk about too often, but it’s important to plan for all eventualities, especially if you’ve invested in crypto.

According to data from blockchain analytics company Glassnode, estimates are that more than 10% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply is lost forever.

Why it’s lost, nobody really knows. However, one assumption is that it’s lost because people hadn’t given enough thought to Arizona probate or had adequate measures in place for after they’ve passed away.

If you’ve not thought about the future and want to ensure your loved ones receive your crypto and it’s of value to those you leave behind, here are the things you need to do.


Unlike traditional bank accounts, which are registered under a legal name and subject to oversight, digital assets like Bitcoin and NFTs don’t have a central regulatory authority.

Crypto investors maintain their own assets using digital wallets that are only accessible via a password or a private key — a 256-bit long string of alphanumeric characters that is only known to the account holder.

Without these private keys, there is little hope of heirs ever accessing a dead loved one’s crypto holdings.

Here are a few things that can happen to your crypto when you die:

  1. Your crypto assets can be transferred to your heirs: If you have specified beneficiaries in your will or trust, they can inherit your crypto assets after your death. They would need to have access to your private keys or recovery phrases to gain control of the crypto assets.
  2. Your crypto assets can be lost forever: If you haven’t shared your private keys or recovery phrases with anyone, your crypto assets may be lost forever. This is because cryptocurrencies are designed to be secure and immutable, so without the necessary access information, nobody can access or transfer the assets.
  3. Your crypto assets can be subject to legal battles: If you haven’t made arrangements for your crypto assets after your death, they may be subject to legal battles between your heirs or other individuals who claim a right to your assets. This can lead to a long and expensive legal battle.


To ensure that your crypto assets are protected after your death, it’s important to take proactive steps. Some options include:

  1. Share your private keys or recovery phrases with a trusted family member or friend who can access the assets after your death.
  2. Specify your crypto assets in your will or trust and name beneficiaries who will inherit them.
  3. Use a cryptocurrency custody service that offers options for transferring your assets after your death.
  4. Use a “dead man’s switch” service that will automatically transfer your assets to designated beneficiaries if you don’t confirm your life status after a certain period of time.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to plan for the transfer of your crypto assets after your death to ensure that your assets are passed on to your intended beneficiaries.

Show More
Back to top button