Could Bitcoin Have Saved Amazon’s Jeff Bezos $70 Billion?
The much publicized divorce of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos looks set to cost him in the region of $70 billion, and will instantly propel Mackenzie Bezos to the position of the richest woman in all of human history – but just how different could it have been if Jeffrey had utilized Bitcoin?
Bitcoin in Divorce
A new trend has emerged in recent years which sees men use Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to hide their liquid assets during a divorce proceeding. This has become common enough that law firms have begun to include Bitcoin-specific advice on their websites.
Yet, the process of hiding money from a spouse – and the legal system – is not as straightforward as one might think. In this example from U.S law firm, Royds Withy King, we see that even the suspicion of non-disclosed holdings is enough to sway the hand of a judge:
“Even without concrete evidence of cryptocurrency assets a Judge could make inferences as to their existence and potential value and factor this in to their overall judgement and related financial orders.”
So without any concrete evidence a judge can still factor your potential crypto holdings into his assessment of the divorce settlement. More from the lawyers’ website:
“…one potential outcome would be one spouse being awarded all the ‘copper-bottomed’ assets (which typically include a house, cash in the bank, pensions and other investments) and the non-disclosing spouse being left with the risk-laden or non-disclosed (but inferred) assets (such as a Bitcoin holding).”
In Bezos’ case, that would have given his soon-to-be ex-wife the two homes in Medina, Washington, along with their Texas ranch, two homes in Beverly Hills, and the largest homestead in Washington, DC, among other goodies.
Bezos Doomed from Start?
But there would have been very little hope for Bezos anyway…
First of all, the entire cryptocurrency market wouldn’t have been enough to hide his estimated $140 billion fortune. Second of all, even if he wanted to hide only half of his fortune, the market cap of Bitcoin is still less than the $70 billion that Mackenzie Bezos is about to receive for being his wife.
Even if Bezos could get his money into BTC, how would you hide those kind of funds? All anyone would have to do is search the blockchain explorer for the biggest Bitcoin purchase of all time. Even if he tried to split it between a thousand different addresses, those could all be traced from the original transfer.
One possible solution would be using a privacy coin. However, the largest and most well-known privacy coin, Monero (XMR), currently has a market cap equal to just 1% of Mackenzie Bezos’ potential windfall.
Food for Thought
The search for cryptocurrency use-cases tends to focus on technological and financial aspects of society, with everyone trying desperately to anticipate what’s coming next.
But imagine there was an easy-to-use privacy coin out there with enough liquidity that all the troubled, soon-to-be divorced billionaire’s of the world could use it as a secure, anonymous store of funds. Imagine if it even went so far as to market itself specifically for this purpose…
Such a focus on personal, individual use-cases might prove more fruitful than trying to take on the whole financial system at this early stage of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency’s development.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.