What happens to Dai when you die?

A 2018 report from Chainalysis states that approximately 20% of Bitcoin is forever inaccessible due to the loss of private keys or being sent to inaccessible or non-existent addresses.

Do Vault owners have a plan for how their Vault should be managed in the event they can no longer manage it?

If the value of the collateral drops, a Vault can be liquidated but if the value of the collateral skyrockets, the collateral and its value might become forever inaccessible to the Vault’s owner or any beneficiaries they may have wanted to designate as heirs.

A recent study from The Cremation Institute of 1,150 participants conducted between October 20, 2019 and June 3,2020 shows that 89% of crypto asset investors worry about losing their assets but only 23% of people have a plan.

Introducing Alfred

Alfred is a virtual caretaker for your digital assets. We started developing a cryptocurrency inheritance solution at ETHDenver 2020 and are exploring what people want in a digital inheritance solution and where digital inheritance solutions might be valuable.

The Alfred team consists of Ken Hodler, Morgan Sherwood, Seth Goldfarb, and Aaron Anderson.

Our solutions involve:

  1. Facilitating the creation of a continuity plan
  2. Providing ways to monitor for death or incapacitation
  3. Distributing assets to beneficiaries

Want to make digital assets a part of your legacy?

In user testing sessions of the proof-of-concept of our cryptocurrency inheritance solution, several members of the community confirmed their desire for the development of digital asset inheritance solution and integration with Maker Vaults.

Our goal for this post is to see whether or not the wider community echoes these sentiments and provide an opportunity to see and give feedback on what we’re working on.

Please help us out by responding to the questions below and email [email protected] if you would like to participate in user testing or are interested in connecting with the team. Thanks for your help!

  1. Do you have a plan to transfer control of your digital assets to loved ones or exit DAOs, leveraged positions, etc. in the event you become incapacitated or die?

  2. As a member of the MakerDAO community, would you like to be able to set up an inheritance solution for Vaults and the digital wallets in which you hold MKR?

  3. What are your primary concerns when you think about digital assets or positions in DeFi you intend to hold for long periods of time?


I feel like death is only one of many ways that I could lose my private key. I like your idea, but I’d rather see better support for smart contract wallets and social recovery.

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There are a lot of risks to a holder’s private keys. However, death being the most universal and inevitable of such risks, I think it is prudent to have a plan in place for that at least. Personally, I keep backups and a hardware key, which are to be passed to a beneficiary in the event of my passing. I’d like a more user-friendly solution, however. I don’t want all my hard work–to provide financial support for the ones I care about–to be lost in the abyss of cyberspace.

In short, I should very much like to be able to set up inheritance for my vaults.