Founder of crypto exchange dies taking only password (and $190M) with him

05 February, 2019, 09:41 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Canadian Apex Court Appoints Ernst & Young Inc. to Investigate Into the Lost Funds of QuadrigaCX

Investors in QuadrigaCX, Canada's largest cryptocurrency exchange, have been unable to access their funds since its founder, Gerald Cotten, died past year.

QuadrigaCX had been plagued with legal trouble in the past year: In early 2018, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce froze more than US$25m of QuadrigaCX's assets after noticing "irregularities" in the exchange's payment processes.

Jennifer Robertson, the widow of the deceased founder, suggests that Cotten was the only person in the firm to have access to funds and cold wallets and no other person had any knowledge of the same.

Mrs Robertson explained "only a minimal amount of coins" were stored in the hot wallet and as such accessible, yet specifics were not provided, reported CoinDesk.

Access to Quadriga CX's digital "wallets" - an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies - appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec 9 in India from complications of Crohn's disease.

What was the password again?

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It has not been able to locate or secure its cryptocurrency reserves since Gerald Cotten died in December.

"Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere", the affidavit states.

Robertson said that the exchange's new directors voted to "temporarily pause" the platform on January 26. "They've left us completely in the dark", said Elvis Cavalic of Calgary. She said she had also received threats and slanderous comments.

Robertson's affidavit notes that a copy of Cotten's death certificate was submitted to the court, with the J.A. Snow Funeral Home stating that he died on December 9, 2018, in Jaipur, India.

QuadrigaCX took down its website last week and replaced it with a statement saying it had filed for creditor protection "to allow us the opportunity to address the significant financial issues that have affected our ability to serve our customers".

When Quadriga was fully operational, its users could use a variety of means to fund an account with the exchange, from online transfers and automatic deposits to paying via cash or a debit card at thousands of Canada Post locations.

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