Blockchain had brought with itself super technology which has enabled a peer-to-peer transaction, cutting off financial institutions who rip people of their hard-earned money in transaction fees.
Because people need to keep their private keys away from being stolen, and because of how valuable cryptocurrencies have been, people go the extra mile of keeping these keys away from close relatives as well as a result of lack of trust.
The question is, what happens in the case of chronic sickness or death? What happens when you give your legal adviser the keys to be given to your spouse in case of death? What if everyone who has access to cryptocurrencies vanishes as it happens in the movies, how do those left carry on? All these questions are yet to be addressed by project teams.
Presently, when a person dies, his cryptocurrency coins/tokens die with him/her. Especially when he has followed every security rule out there, properly keeping away his private keys as he has been told to do. Funny enough, the cryptos don’t just vanish, they are there. They still contribute to the total supply, but they are inaccessible and unusable. Not even forks can make them usable again.
A recent report gives a more precise picture of this dilemma. A man died after battling to recover from his drug addiction, he had over $500 million worth of Ripple cryptocurrencies, and none of his family members could lay claim to the funds.
An advantage of situations like this is that price is stabilized as cryptos are locked, and there won’t be any fear of huge sums being exchanged for fiat.
What then is the solution to this? For now, none. But to be on the safe side, make sure someone you trust really well has access to your coins. You don’t necessarily need to hand over your private keys physically to them. Just let someone know where they can find it just in case there’s the need.
In the near future, we should see projects which can address these pressing issues. This probably will have to do will people giving up their details and that of their next of kin. So in a situation where there’s a problem, the coins are moved to someone else.
Cryptocurrencies are still in its early stages, and with time, we believe all these challenges will be resolved.