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6 Surprising Ways Consumers Are Using Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin and other virtual currencies aren't only used for investing transactions. Briggs Stahl recently spoke with US News & World Report about one way it is being used.

The hype surrounding bitcoin may have faded, but cryptocurrencies are still popular among digital cash enthusiasts. In fact, you could trade your money in for not only bitcoin, but also litecoin, ethereum, ripple and monero, just to name a few cryptocurrencies. And while you hear a lot in the news about investing in cryptocurrencies, not everyone uses the digital currency as an investment. In fact, there are some unexpected ways that consumers are using these digital assets.

Here's a look at six ways people are leveraging cryptocurrencies – beyond building their wealth.

3. To conceal money in divorce. Briggs Stahl, a partner with Baker Tilly*, a financial investigation firm in Tampa Bay, Florida, says that he has run into this a couple times, where a spouse tried to hide money in a divorce by transforming cash into bitcoin.

"It's the latest technology advance in hiding money," Stahl says. "We used to just see gift card purchases, credit card prepayments or just removal of cash that could not be traced. Now we are seeing this."

Given that cryptocurrency can go down in value, you may wonder if a person is taking a big chance by hiding assets in this way. "Yes, it is a big risk," Stahl says.

As appeared in US News & World Report, April 13, 2018.

*Effective December 2018, RGL Forensics joined Baker Tilly US, LLP. This article was published while we were RGL Forensics. The author(s) or team member(s) quoted from RGL are now employees of Baker Tilly.

Briggs Stahl
Partner, CPA, ABV, CFF, CBA

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