Investors to lose $190m as owner of cryptocurrency company dies with passwords.
30-year-old Gerald Cotten, the founder of QuadrigaCX, Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, died last year in India from complications with Crohn’s disease. Before his death, he had the only password to unlock the funds and didn’t get to transfer that knowledge to anyone.
QuadrigaCX, Canada’s leading cryptocurrency exchange company, has said it cannot repay $190m to clients because its founder died with their passwords.
Founder Gerald Cotten, 30, died “due to complications with Crohn’s disease” in December, 2018, his wife, Jennifer Robertson, said.
Mr Cotten held “sole responsibility for handling the funds and coins” and no other members of the team could access the stored funds, Jennifer said in a sworn affidavit as she filed for credit protection on 31 January, 2019.
Ms Robertson said about $190m in both cryptocurrency and normal money is in “cold storage” – where the company, or just Mr Cotten in this case, holds the key, not the client.
The founder held “sole responsibility for handling the funds and coins” and no other members of the team could access the stored funds, she added.
The company is no longer accepting investments on their platform after it was put on pause by directors last month.