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How to Lose One Billion Dollars...

Digital currency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash and Ripple are increasingly pervasive, both for business transactions and as an investment. Although the values for digital currencies are extremely volatile, speculators have made large fortunes. Digital currency is maintained in a cryptocurrency "wallet" that keeps a record of transactions using blockchain technology and is secured by digital keys. Digital currency that cannot be accessed essentially disappears and cannot be recovered.

A prudent estate plan includes taking steps to ensure your Executor has access to your digital keys, failing which your ditigal currency will be lost forever. This bit of advice may have come too late for American banking scion, fashion designer and crypto-currency wunderkid, Matthew Mellon. Mellon passed away on April 16, 2018, purportedly of a heart attack after taking the hallucinogenic drug, Ibogaine, while on his way to a rehab centre in Cancun, Mexico. Mellon invested $2 million dollars in the crypto-currency, Ripple, which grew to a fortune of as much as $1 billion dollars. However, it is being reported that Mellon's family has been unable to trace his digital currency fortune and fears that it has disappeared.

Contrast this with Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, former partners of Mark Zuckerberg, who received $20 million in cash and $45 million in Facebook shares as a settlement of their claim against Facebook. The Winklevoss twins invested $11 million dollars in Bitcoin and have seen the value of that investment rise to $1.3 billion dollars . To secure their digital fortune, they cut up printouts of their digital keys and stored them in multiple safety deposit boxes. 

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