Bitcoin exchange president's death puts millions out of reach

February 5, 2019
An employee inspects machines for the production of Bitcoin and Lightcoin at the "Kriptounivers" (CryptoUniverse) mining center in Kirishi, Russia on August 20, 2018

A Canadian cryptocurrency exchange was granted bankruptcy protection on Monday after its president took passwords for accounts containing Can$180 million ($137 million US) to his grave when he died suddenly.

In a statement, QuadrigaCX said it sought protection from creditors after weeks of attempting to "locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves" following the death of its president Gerald Cotten.

Nova Scotia's high court granted the application made by Cotten's widow Jennifer Robertson on behalf of the company, which has also stopped currency trading on its platform.

Quadriga CX had announced mid-January that Cotten died of complications from Crohn's disease on December 9 while volunteering at an orphanage in India. He was 30.

In an affidavit, Robertson said the company has been unable to access an encrypted that he is believed to have used to store the cryptocurrencies owed to 115,000 users.

"I do not know the password or recovery key," Robertson said. "Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere."

An brought in to try to crack the encryptions "has had some limited success in recovering a few coins and some information on Gerry's cell phones and other computer, but not yet from the main computer he used to conduct business," she added.

The company's digital platform allows trading of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum.

Explore further: Cryptocurrencies: High volatility and returns

Related Stories

Cryptocurrencies: High volatility and returns

November 21, 2018

It's been an extremely volatile year for Bitcoin prices. About a year ago, Bitcoin was trading in a range of $4,000 to $5,000. After climbing to a high of just over $20,000 in December 2017, it now seems to be back where ...

Twitter bans crytocurrency ads on fraud fears

March 26, 2018

Twitter on Monday announced a ban on ads for initial offerings of cryptocurrency or sales of virtual currency tokens, sending the value of bitcoin diving below $8,000.

Recommended for you

Semimetals are high conductors

March 18, 2019

Researchers in China and at UC Davis have measured high conductivity in very thin layers of niobium arsenide, a type of material called a Weyl semimetal. The material has about three times the conductivity of copper at room ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.