“Francis has been far from forthcoming with his ever-changing stories,” Ms. deSouza’s attorneys claimed in a filing.
No secret lair has ever materialized. A spokeswoman for Mr. deSouza said he disclosed all of his cryptocurrency holdings early in the divorce. “As soon as Francis knew the bitcoin was implicated in the Mt. Gox bankruptcy, he told his ex-wife,” the spokeswoman said. “Had it not been for the Mt. Gox bankruptcy, the BTC split would have been completely uncontroversial.”
Ms. deSouza declined to comment through her attorney.
However, the appeals court found that Mr. deSouza, 51, who is now CEO of biotech company Illumina, broke the rules of divorce proceedings by not fully disclosing his wife about his cryptocurrency investments.
He was ordered to give Ms. deSouza about half the total number of bitcoins he owned prior to Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy, leaving him with 57 bitcoins worth about $2.5 million at today’s prices. Ms. deSouza’s bitcoins are now worth more than $23 million.
Not all crypto divorces involve such large sums of money. A few years ago, Nick Himonidis, a forensic investigator in New York, was working on a divorce case in which a wife accused her husband of underreporting his cryptocurrency holdings. With the court’s permission, Mr Himonidis showed up at the man’s home and searched his laptop. He found a digital wallet containing around $700,000 in Monero cryptocurrency.
“He said, ‘Oh, that wallet? I didn’t even think I had that,’” Mr Himonidis recalled. “I was like, ‘Seriously, dude?'”
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In another case, Mr Himonidis said he discovered a husband had withdrawn $2 million in cryptocurrency from his account on the Coinbase exchange, a platform where people buy, sell and store digital currencies. A week after his wife filed for divorce, the man transferred the money to digital wallets and then left the United States.