Investors Face $190M in Losses When Only Person With Cryptocurrency Password Dies

QuadrigaCX's Gerald Cotten died during a trip to India to set up an orphanage.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
Getty Images

There are real, tangible problems in store for 115,000 investors in a Canadian crypto-currency exchange whose accounts were left inaccessible after the only person with the password died.

Gerald Cotten, CEO and co-founder of QuadrigaCX, died of complications from Crohn’s disease during a trip to India to set up an orphanage in December — and he took the only password to “cold storage” savings accounts worth $190 million with him, CoinDesk first reported.

With no record left behind of the password, his company was forced to file for legal protection while it hired experts in an attempt to hack into the accounts.

“For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues, which include 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, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us,” the company announced in a Jan. 31 statement. “Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful.”

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