I am deposing a client's spouse about bitcoins they have mined since 2013. What relevant questions should I ask to ascertain number of coins mined and transactions concerning those coins, such as number of coins still held and location of coins?

  • For legal services, you almost certainly want to hire someone with domain knowledge as a consultant on this. There's simply too many ways to move BTC, and too many ways it could have been mined (solo, pool mining, contract mining), and too many ways and places it could have been stored in for a site like Bitcoin.SE to cover all the details without a lot more information – Raghav Sood Oct 8 '18 at 22:09
  • Were the coins mined on regular PCs or stolen electricity? Mining on a standard PC would essentially net zero earnings and is not anywhere near as profitable as modern ASICs. – KappaDev Oct 8 '18 at 22:10

To 'own bitcoin' is to have knowledge of the private keys that allow some unspent transaction output (UTXO) to be spent (though in some cases, knowledge of a key may be delegated to a custodial service). So understand that the 'bitcoins' themselves are not what a user must keep safe, rather it is the keys that allow those coins to be spent.

With this in mind, consider that there are many ways to store bitcoin keys. A savvy user may be able to obfuscate their keys entirely, and there is not necessarily any way to prove that a person has current knowledge of a key.

"How much bitcoin have you mined since 2013" is the obvious question to ask. Consider that some amount of the bitcoin mined may have been sold in order to finance the mining operation, may have been traded into other cryptocurrencies or assets, may have been lost due to user error, etc.

Otherwise, I agree with @RaghavSood's comment, especially considering the legal implications of this question, it is difficult to answer comprehensively in a SE posting. This seems like a situation in which a paid consultant may be appropriate.

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