A Billionaire’s Fortune Was Lost Due to Cryptocurrency

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A Billionaire’s Fortune Was Lost Due to Cryptocurrency

Matthew Mellon passed away in 2018. His death was unexpected and, while he was assumed to be worth around $200 million, most of that money was in cryptocurrency. He hadn’t shared his access keys to that currency with anyone, so no one could get to it. As such, the estate struggled with paying off taxes and settling other financial matters. They couldn’t access nearly $193 million in alleged assets that they would have been able to use to pay bills and distribute to heirs.

The XRP cryptocurrency that belonged to the banking heir was assumed to be lost forever. It wasn’t until more digging was done into the life and financial issues of Mellon that additional information started to come to light. Not only did Mellon keep the crypto key information to himself, but he also had some additional rules in his agreements regarding the currency. For example, he had several accounts and keys in other people’s names throughout the world.

Mellon also had agreements whereby only a very small amount of XRP could be sold off each day. Because of the fluctuating nature of the cryptocurrency that small amount of selloff every day led to large differences in how much his estate was worth on any given day. He went from millionaire to billionaire and back again, and his status was often in question. The level of confusion surrounding Mellon’s finances has been ongoing.

It appears that it won’t be cleared up anytime soon, even though he passed away years ago. He left behind young children and two ex-wives, along with cars, expensive artwork, and other assets. But 97% of the money needed to settle his estate was tied up in XRP. While Mellon initially did well with it, the losses as it depreciated complicated his financial status – and that of his heirs, as well.

The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center helps people plan for the unexpected. To begin or to update your estate plan, contact us today!