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Cryptocurrencies and NFTs: possible investigations to protect family assets in Separation and Divorce proceedings


Increasingly often in separation and divorce proceedings, even in Italy, assets must be ascertained which, due to the family crisis, one of the spouses is hiding. An increasingly used method is the purchase of cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
Cryptocurrencies are a form of digital currency that uses cryptographic technology to ensure the security of transactions and to control the creation of new units. The most famous cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
In Italy, cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender and are not regulated by the Bank of Italy. However, they are not illegal and can be used to transact online.
In general, cryptocurrencies are still a relatively new phenomenon and there are still many uncertainties about how they should be regulated and taxed. However, there are ongoing initiatives to establish a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in Italy, in order to ensure user safety and prevent illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing.
One of the main problems related to cryptocurrencies is precisely the difficulty of tracing crypto accounts. Cryptocurrency transactions are, by their very definition, anonymous and cannot easily be associated with a specific individual. However, there are some ways of tracing crypto accounts that can be used, upon request of the parties, by the relevant authorities to investigate such activities.
One of the most common methods of tracing crypto accounts is blockchain analysis. The blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies and records all transactions made in a specific cryptocurrency. The experts, delegated by the lawyers of the parties but also by the judicial authority itself, can use this information to identify suspicious transactions and trace the owners of the crypto accounts.
Another common method is to use traditional investigative investigations, such as the capture of credit card or bank transaction data, to locate associated crypto accounts.
Furthermore, more and more often the most accredited specialists use artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to analyze large amounts of data and thus identify suspicious transactions more easily.
In general, the traceability of crypto accounts still represents a challenge in the context of legal protection, but there are methods and technologies available that can be used to investigate asset theft in family crisis.
Armando Cecatiello Lawyer Milan and Lugano