About $190m in cryptocurrency has been locked away in a online black hole after the founder of a currency exchange died, apparently taking his encrypted access to their money with him.
Investors in QuadrigaCX, Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, were unable to access their funds after its founder, Gerald Cotten, died last year.
Jennifer Robertson, identified as Cotten’s widow, testified in court that Quadriga’s inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost. She said that the laptop computer from which her husband carried out the companies’ business is encrypted and she does not know the password or recovery key.
Apparently, he was the only one who had access to the money and none of his co-workers know the passwords.
As news spread out, many clients have bombarded social media and are asking questions whether the owner is really dead and when they will have access to their money.
Quadriga, founded in 2013, was meant to provide a user-friendly platform for individuals to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrency. But the company, like many others in the cryptocurrency industry, received little regulatory oversight.