Wednesday, 21 August, 2019


Cryptocurrency Exchange Says It Can't Access Millions After CEO Unexpectedly Died

Canadian Apex Court Appoints Ernst & Young Inc. to Investigate Into the Lost Funds of QuadrigaCX Cryptocurrency Exchange Says It Can't Access Millions After CEO Unexpectedly Died
Conrad Doyle | 05 February, 2019, 04:13

In brief: Cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX's 115,000 customers have lost a combined total of $145 million, after CEO and founder Gerald Cotton unfortunately passed away from complications caused by Crohn's Disease past year.

Canada's leading cryptocurrency exchange company has said it can not repay $190m (£110m) to clients because its founder died with their passwords.

Users have been complaining about "withdrawal issues and a lack of communication" from QuadrigaCX for months, the publication reported. Users' cryptocurrency wallets were kept offline, ensuring hackers couldn't get at them.

"The transfer of coins from the cold wallet to the hot wallet was performed manually by [Cotten]", the affidavit from Robertson states. But Robertson provided the court with a copy of Cotten's death certificate, court records show, and Robertson said she and QuadrigaCX's interim chief executive have been hit with threats and "slanderous comments" by angry customers.

Meanwhile, Quadriga has filed for a stay of legal proceedings to allow the company and "its contractors additional time to find whatever stores of cryptocurrency may be available", Robertson wrote.

She has her husband's laptop but she does not know the password and a technical expert they hired had not been able to bypass its encryption, she told the court. Most of the exchange's Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, and fiat money were stored in one device, and only the co-founder and CEO of QuadrigaCX, Gerald Cotten, had the password. After not being able to withdraw CA$15,000, he said, "They've left us completely in the dark". Other companies have already come forward to express interest, she said, warning that the platform's value would nearly certainly be undercut if the company faced a legal threat from its users.

In a statement posted on its website on January 31, QuadrigaCX said that it applied for creditor protection in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court "to allow us the opportunity to address the significant financial issues that have affected our ability to serve our customers". Robertson said the many types of deposits made it hard for the company to stop the inflow of money - even as it lost its ability to access or disburse funds.

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