Company Can't Pay Customers Because Boss Died With Password

Avoiding QuadrigaCX's $190 Million Disaster How Do the World's Largest Crypto Exchanges Store Funds? 1

Avoiding QuadrigaCX's $190 Million Disaster How Do the World's Largest Crypto Exchanges Store Funds? 1

As first reported by CoinDesk, Jennifer Robertson, widow of Gerald Cotten, founder of the QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange, filed a sworn affidavit with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court last week, revealing that the company is unable to open up a security system that is preventing users from accessing the contents of their Bitcoin wallets, which are valued at around $190 million Dollars.

Then I come across a story like what happened to a Canadian crypto exchange after its CEO died - died, that is, without ever sharing his passwords with anyone.

Jennifer Robertson, the widow of the platform's founder Gerald Cotten, said that QuadrigaCX has filed for creditor protection because it can't access the substantial funds stored in "cold storage" - only a "minimal amount of coins" stored in a "hot wallet" used for transfers.

Employees tried to access cryptocurrency within Quadriga's "cold" wallets, a system which stores cryptocurrencies offline to avoid hacking, such as on USB sticks or electronic hardware not connected to the internet.

According to the Sky News, founder of QuadrigaCX, 30-year-old Gerald Cotten, died of alleged complications with Crohn's disease during a trip to India where he had been billed to inaugurate an orphanage last December.

What was the password again?




QuadrigaCX, at a court hearing set for Tuesday, is expected to ask a judge to appoint Ernst & Young as an overseer for its financial issues.

Robertson says that she has received online threats as a result of the weird deadlock. Cotten was the only person with the passcode to unlock the company's "cold wallet" leaving nearly all the exchange's cryptocurrency inaccessible. Discussion boards on Reddit are peppered with skeptical comments about the company's efforts to work out its issues, and some users say they have upward of $80,000 or $100,000 that has been locked away from them. "Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere".

That has left Quadriga customers wondering when - and if - they'll see their money.

The death certificate, issued on December 13, identifies him as "Gerald William Cottan" and names Robertson as his wife.

Back to the present day, and Cotten's widow has been having to fend off questions of legitimacy surrounding the death all the while trying to follow up with security experts on how to gain access to the large sum of crypto - now behind nearly entirely insurmountable encryption. The combination of peculiar circumstances prompted many cryptocurrency experts to question the official story.

Now, the company is looking into selling its operating platform to stay afloat.

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