Crypto exchange reportedly loses the equivalent of US$137 million along with its founder

QuadrigaCX lost its founder, and more besides, recently. (Source: QuadrigaCX)
QuadrigaCX lost its founder, and more besides, recently. (Source: QuadrigaCX)
Gerry Cotten, the founder of QuadrigaCX, a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, recently passed away at the untimely age of 30. However, the company's woes quickly escalated as it became apparent that Cotten had not left the passwords to the company's cold wallet to his staff. They have reportedly been scrambling to recover the US$137 million stored in it ever since.
Deirdre O Donnell,

Gerry Cotten, the founder of the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX, has reportedly passed away at the markedly young age of 30. Cotten had reportedly suffered from Crohn's disease, a potentially severe inflammatory condition. This event rapidly translated into further repercussions for the British Columbia-based company he had left behind. It transpired that Cotten had been the only executive with access to most of  QuadrigaCX's funds. 

These assets - worth the equivalent of CA$180 million (or US$137 million) were stored in an off-line or cold wallet, presumably for the purposes of their protection from hackers or thieves. Cotten's widow, Jennifer Robertson, has signed a sworn affidavit to the effect that this wallet was located on a laptop that could only be decrypted by Cotten. Robertson has reportedly affirned that she has done all she can to recover the password or recovery key for this laptop, but to no avail.

QuadrigaCX is valued at an additional approximate US$53 million; however, it cannot access these funds due to ongoing legal disputes. The story may have taken an even uglier turn for the crypto company. Research on the subject posted to Reddit has indicated that the company's private keys, allegedly pertaining to Litecoin cold storage, have been used to move funds out of the wallet in question. This has led to speculations that theft or fraud revolving around Cotten's supposedly locked machine has taken place. If so, these are transgressions that affect 110,000 active QuadrigaCX accounts with positive balances.


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Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-02- 3 (Update: 2019-02- 3)
Deirdre O'Donnell
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.