-Crypto CEO dies with the password to unlock $145 million customers’ Bitcoin.
- The online startup can't retrieve about C$190 million in Bitcoin.
A Crypto CEO has died with all the passwords necessary to unlock all his customers’ coins. Without their digital keys, his clients lose access to their funds.
According to a report by Bloomberg News, the online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” — an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies — appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30.
Cotten was always conscious about security — the laptop, email addresses and the messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson.
The problem is, Robertson said she can’t find his passwords or any business records for the company. Experts brought in to try to hack into Cotten’s other computers and mobile phone met with only “limited success” and attempts to circumvent an encrypted USB key have been foiled, his widow, who lives a suburb of Halifax, said in the court filing.