Crypto trader boss dies with password to clients' $200M2019-02-05 15:15 by Daniela
Users of Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX are unable to access most of their funds, according to CoinDesk, for an unfortunate reason: the exchange's founder recently died, and was the only person who knew a vital password.
Gerald Cotten, the 30-year-old founder of QuadrigaCX, died in India on Dec. 9, 2018 due to complications from Crohn's disease, according to a sworn affidavit by his wife, Jennifer Robertson. At the time of his death, Cotten was the only person with the password to access the customers' funds. A court filing suggests that the crypto exchange owes $250 million CAD as most of the funds were kept in a cold wallet.
Cold storage is where a holder of crypto assets — in this case, the exchange — keeps the coins offline, or not on a computer or server. While cold storage mitigates the risk of a hack, access to the coins often requires passwords and encrypted codes for the devices that are holding the cryptocurrency.
No business records have been left behind by the deceased. His widow does have Cotten's laptop in her possession but she doesn't have the password. A technical expert was hired by the exchange to bypass the encryption but that didn't help either. To clear its debts, QuadrigaCX is expected to sell off its operating platform, called Multiple Parties.
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