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Inheritance and Blockchain: Thoughts and Open Questions

by   Frederic Prost, et al.
Université Grenoble Alpes

Inheritance is the fundamental building block of civilization. This is the addition of wealth, knowledge and properties over time that produce the society in which we are living. Every generation does not have to start from zero and can capitalize on the efforts of previous generations. Blockchain based assets are very efficiently and securely transferred between living entities. Yet the actual way to make heirs inherit crypto-assets is seldom discussed. It appears that the problems linked with the inheritance of crypto-assets raise a lot of technical, societal and legal issues. Part of those issues have to be tackled with at the level of the blockchain infrastructure itself. The aim of this paper is to open a research field, and to discuss some ideas, with regards to this overlooked issue. Inheritance is neither a peripheral question nor one that can be dodged. It comes with its own set of challenges that have to be met if blockchain based finance, and asset management, is to be taken seriously.


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