CryptoExchange Loses $145 Million After CEO Dies Suddenly

The death of a Canadian entrepreneur has left a huge stash of cryptocurrencies locked off from the people who own them.Canada’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange said it’s unable to gain access to $145 million of bitcoin and other digital assets after Gerald Cotten, its 30-year old CEO and co-founder, died of complications arising from Crohn’s Disease while traveling in India.

According to the company,many of the digital currencies held by Quadriga are stored offline in accounts known as cold wallets a way of protecting them from hackers. Cotten is the only person with access to the wallets.Cotten’s death has plunged Quadriga into crisis and left it struggling to figure out how to refund more than 100,000 of its users.

For the past weeks the company has worked extensively to address their liquidity issues, which include attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets.
Quadriga said in a statement on its website,”The laptop that Cotten used to run the currency exchange is encrypted according to a copy of her affidavit posted online by cryptocurrency news site CoinDesk.
The company has hired tech experts in an attempt to hack into Cotten’s laptop and other devices to retrieve the missing cryptocurrencies. Quadriga, which is based in Vancouver also owes about 70 million Canadian dollars ($53 million) in cash that it’s unable to pay back customers citing difficulties accessing funds through the traditional banking system.
This is the first time the cryptocurrency industry has been hit by security concerns. Hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of digital currencies have been stolen by hackers over the past few years.The spectacular boom and bust in the prices of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have presented a quandary for governments around the world which have taken differing approaches in trying to regulate their use.
Via CNN

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