Bitcoin industry grapples with the age-old problem of inheritance

The safekeeping of a private key remains the bottleneck regarding the inheritance of Bitcoins.Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Five years ago, Matthew Moody was killed during an observational flight when the two-seater plane he was in crashed flying over a canyon in Chico, California.

His father, Michael Moody, knew his 26-year-old son had been mining Bitcoins — today worth thousands of dollars each — but had no idea how many he had or how to find them. Michael Moody has spent the past three years seeking the answers. 

“My son was actually one of the earliest people to mine it,” said Moody, a retired software engineer. “He used his computer at home to mine Bitcoins when you actually could do it that way and he had a few we think.”

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