$190M In Crypto Lost As Exchange Founder Dies With Only Password

The 30 years old founder of Quadriga exchange died. $137 million of clients funds locked

The exchange's founder, Gerald Cotten, died past year, taking his encrypted access to the money with him and leaving a big problem for investors.

Jennifer Robertson revealed on January 14 that her husband had died from complications related to Crohn's disease on December 9 while travelling in India, where he was opening an orphanage.

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

Users have been complaining about "withdrawal issues and a lack of communication" from QuadrigaCX for months, the publication reported. Taking the passwords of the cold wallets with him to the grave.

Robertson said in the affidavit that Cotten's main computer contained a "cold wallet" of cryptocurrencies, which is only accessible physically and not online, and his death left "in excess of C$180 million of coins in cold storage". Robertson has asked the court for a stay of proceedings to protect the company from lawsuits and buy time while QuadrigaCX tries to access the cryptocurrency tied up in its cold wallets. Most of the exchange's Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, and fiat money were stored in one device, and only the co-founder and CEO of QuadrigaCX, Gerald Cotten, had the password.

"Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere", she said. "I'm kind of preparing for the worst". In the filing she noted that there had been a "significant amount of commentary on Reddit and other web based platforms about Quadriga, Gerry's death (including whether he is really dead) and missing coins".

In seeking protection from creditors, Robertson said she had convened a board of directors to run the company. She said she had also received threats and slanderous comments.

QuadrigaCX, which filed for bankruptcy protection in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on January 31, was created to "simplify the process of buying and selling" the bitcoin cryptocurrency, according to a cached version of its website. Robertson said the many types of deposits made it hard for the company to stop the inflow of money - even as it lost its ability to access or disburse funds.

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