A Canadian cryptocurrency company, Quadriga has revealed that its Chief Executive Officer, Gerald Cotten died with the company’s major passwords leaving $150 million of investors money trapped.
Cotten, 30 died late last year in India after battling with a disease.
Investors have reined in on the staff of the company with threats asking for their money.
A Canadian court has appointed Ernst & Young as monitor for the
cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX on Tuesday, after the company
sought protection from creditors following the death of its chief
In different statements from his wife, first reported by Bloomberg, Cotten took sole responsibility for the handling of exchange assets.
He had passwords stored in a laptop which he encrypted just for his own access.
Cotten’s death has left customers clutching the wind as the Vancouver-based exchange is unable to
reach $150m (C$190m) in bitcoin, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The personal details that gave them access to their coins were stored in “cold wallets”, a kind of encrypted hardware that is not connected to the internet. As it stands, only Cotten, it seems has a solution to de-encrypt the cold wallets.
Other than its unpaid credits in digital currency, the company also owes $50m in cash to its users, according to documents filed with the Nova Scotia
supreme court by E&Y.
More than 92,000 people have had assets with the exchange, and one individual had as much as $50m.
In a statement posted last week on the QuadrigaCX website, the
company disclosed that it was “attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are
required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit.
Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful.”
Reactions have since been growing on the internet with some cryptocurrency enthusiasts doubting the veracity of the company’s claims.
A Reddit user had weighed in on the matter and said he saw transactions on Quadriga’s Cold Wallet, which means the key to the site and their money had not actually been lost.
“Given the kinds of people involved in the shadier side of
cryptocurrency I wouldn’t make any assumptions or prematurely rule
out any theories,” said Kim Nilsson, a Tokyo-based software
engineer credited with solving crypto’s most notorious heist.
”We have thousands of wallet addresses
known to belong to QuadrigaCoinEx and are investigating the
bizarre and, frankly, unbelievable story,” a Cryptocurrency digital marketer said.