The use of cryptocurrency is on the rise as more and more investors use it to diversify their portfolios.
It’s not only investors, either. Organizations, governments, and corporate entities increasingly continue to back cryptocurrency as something of long-lasting value and a viable alternative to government-issued currency.
However, cryptocurrency’s rising popularity isn’t without complication. It’s still a nascent legal area, and that makes currencies like Bitcoin vulnerable to fraud. Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, appeal to those embarking on fraudulent deals because of their perceived anonymity.
That’s not to say misappropriated funds can’t be traced. With the right skills and equipment, it’s possible to track, trace, identify and recover the wrongfully seized assets.
But with the legal aspect of cryptocurrency still emerging, what steps are necessary to successfully recover your cyber currency?
How Asset Recovery Works
Depending on how you have lost access to your assets the recovery process varies. The first, more complicated procedure we will look at involves money recovery of fraudulently seized assets.
But the other reason to employ an asset recovery company is to restore access to funds you currently can’t access because an electronic wallet has frozen.
To begin by exploring how asset recovery works for fraudulently seized assets.
When you set out to recover your assets, it’s important to remember there’s more to reclamation than tracing the funds. A competent asset seizure typically diverts the seized money through exchanges, bank accounts and ultimately settles it on physical property. The money you are trying to recover may even end up in the name of a relative of the person who perpetrated the fraud.
To that end, it becomes necessary to prove the physical property or people attached to the funds are involved in wrongdoing.
Despite the persistent belief that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin offer anonymity, this is a myth. There’s certainly a degree of privacy in excess of that experienced by those with more traditional access, but it’s still possible to access the information you need for your asset recovery.
To do this, you or a reliable asset recovery company must navigate the information stored in your Bitcoin’s blockchain. This information pertains to your asset recovery and the transactions involving them. All the information logged by a blockchain is publicly available.
The key is to know how to use that information to track the funds you’re recovering.
Wallets: Hosted and Un-hosted
Tracking and recovering any digital assets you possess becomes significantly easier if you can identify the electronic wallet hosting the funds.
To better understand this, it becomes necessary to explain the difference between hosted and un-hosted wallets. An un-hosted wallet does not involve a third party but is somewhere to store your lost assets.
However, a hosted wallet acts as an exchange, allowing the account owner to send and receive cyber currency. If you or an asset recovery company can track your funds to a hosted wallet, then funds recovery is much the same as if you recovering assets from a fraudulent bank account.
With the host wallet identified it’s possible to freeze and recover your assets. It’s also possible to serve a freezing order on the account, preventing the host from redistributing the money you’re recovering.
Be Aware of Asset Recovery Scams
While there do exist asset recovery companies that genuinely strive to restore your money, there is an equal number of opportunistic people who promise to recover their client’s money but either can’t or don’t act on the promise.
These asset recovery companies charge an exorbitant fee and subsequently do what amounts to drafting a letter petitioning the fraudster to return appropriated funds. In some cases, the asset recovery company will log a complaint with the necessary authority.
And, while many such money recovery companies persuade prospective clients of their detailed legal expertise, this is seldom the case, because, as discussed, bitcoin and cryptocurrency are still uncertain legal territories.
But both these steps are performable at significantly less expense by the victim attempting to recover their money in the first place. Even if you do recruit an asset recovery company to draft a letter on your behalf, it’s not guaranteed to recover your money.
This is because there are various circumstances in which an asset recovery petition is completely void. This may be the case if the scammer is:
- Subject to court judgment
Additionally, if the statute of limitations has expired, it may be impossible to recover your funds.
With that in mind, it’s vital that you ask questions of any asset recovery company before engaging them. Find out what steps they will undertake to recover your money. Also, be sure to consider the cost. If the steps outlined justify the expense and involve procedures you couldn’t undertake yourself, then proceeding with their assistance may help recover your assets.
Other considerations when considering a third-party asset recovery company to help recover your money are:
- How much money you are likely to recover
- The risk of losing more money to pay the asset recovery company
- Names, licenses, and bar associations of anyone undertaking legal services for recovery of your assets
How Bitcoin Recovery Companies Work
As the name suggests, Bitcoin recovery companies deal in electronic asset recovery. Since Bitcoin and cyber currencies move by the millisecond, the faster you can recover your funds the better. And to do that, it’s helpful to have an expert conversant in navigating the nuances of blockchains and wallets.
These Bitcoin recovery companies work with law enforcement and cyber currency holders to recover funds that have been wrongfully appropriated or are otherwise inaccessible.
If you are recovering funds from a host wallet you have no access to, supercomputers and other advanced software systems can be employed to parse the relevant key phrase and recover your funds.
If, however, you have lost access for a more mundane reason, a Bitcoin recovery company can use essential information to help you regain access to and recover your wallet or money. This information includes details like important personal dates, such as birthdays or anniversaries, that might contribute to your key phrase and help restore access to your assets.
This information combines with supercomputers and advanced software to help the Bitcoin recovery company restore your access to your funds.
Note that a reputable Bitcoin or asset recovery company will never ask for the password to your Bitcoin wallet when working to recover your funds. If they do, they’re a fraudulent company. Under no circumstances should you disclose your password.
Also, be aware that a legitimate Bitcoin recovery service will never ask for money upfront. The company may provide you with a quote for services rendered, but be wary of anyone requesting payment before your assets are recovered.
When investigating a Bitcoin recovery company to help recover your assets, assess it for:
- Positive reviews
- Contract offered, if offered to you
- Feedback and possible success of your asset recovery
- Projected plan for money recovery
- Reputability and security of the service that contacts and acquires your information for client purposes
Why You Need Bitcoin Recovery Companies
However, not all reasons for employing a Bitcoin recovery company are catastrophic. It’s much more usual for Bitcoin recovery companies to help clients re-access their software wallets. The most common reason? They’ve forgotten the password.
While this sounds like a simple problem, the complex software employed by hardware wallets can make something as straightforward as password recovery a challenge. Bitcoin recovery companies report the use of multiple high-speed computers to strongarm the system into retrieving lost passwords.
Another reason you may need a Bitcoin recovery company to help recover your assets is due to a fault in computer hardware. If you’ve stored your bitcoin wallet on a USB or hard drive and the hardware gives out, a Bitcoin recovery company can help recover the money for you.
How Successful Are Bitcoin Recovery Companies?
The success of bitcoin recovery companies varies. It’s affected in large part by how much of the missing information a wallet host can remember. But the average fund recovery rate is 50%.
Asset recovery companies are undeniably complicated and can be difficult to understand. But with the rising popularity of cyber currency and Bitcoin as investments, they offer a vital service to investors.
Nothing is entirely anonymous, and a reputable asset recovery company can be crucial to the successful recovery of funds or money you’ve lost to cyber-fraud. They can help you trace, track and restore electronic assets appropriated by a third party through a combination of block chain, high-tech computer software, and the ability to parse wallet key phrasing.
This is particularly critical if you are the victim of fraud since cyber currency and Bitcoin rarely stay in one place for long. But on a more mundane level, asset recovery companies act as a reputable way to regain access to a wallet you’ve lost access to.
Whatever service you require, don’t forget to evaluate the asset recovery company you’re working with for trustworthiness. Be critically minded and ask about the steps they will take to recover your money. If it’s something you can do yourself, it’s not worth the cost. And if they require personal details, such as a password, don’t disclose it.
If you can find a reputable asset recovery company, then the success rate is such that a chance of recovering your assets is hopeful, and your money will soon be in safe hands