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Clients unable to access $145m after company's CEO dies

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 • Tamil Comments

Following the death of the CEO of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX, investors were locked out of $190m ($145m) in cryptocurrency assets as the owner was the only person who knew the password to access holdings.

30-year-old Gerald Cotten, founder and CEO of QuadrigaCX, died due to complications from Crohn’s disease during a visit to India in 2018, where he had planned on opening an orphanage for the needy. Ever since his death, the company has not been able to locate or secure its cryptocurrency reserves and has filed for cryptocurrency protection, estimating that about $190 million in cryptocurrency coins (USD 145 million) is missing.

Cotten was apparently the only person responsible for transferring QuadrigaCX funds between the company’s secure, offline storage and its online server, according to court documents. Very little cryptocurrency was stored in the latter for security purposes. The CEO’s laptop was encrypted, and his widow, Jennifer Robertson, and the expert she hired have been unable to access any of its contents.

“For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues, which include attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us,” a statement from the company read.

The company has sought creditor protection to stop any legal action while it sorts out its finances, also contemplating selling its operating platform to stay afloat.

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