The sudden death of founder of a digital currency platform has resulted in freezing of about C$180 million ($137.21 million) in Canada.
The situation arose when Gerald Cotten, founder of Quadriga, a Canadian digital platform, died unexpectedly in December at the age of 30 and the only person who knows the password to gain access to cryptocurrencies in user accounts on the platform.
The Facebook page of Quadriga CX announced the death of Cotten on Jan 14 and described complication with Croh’s disease as reason of his death, to which Cotton become affected when he was working as volunteer at an orphanage in India.
Quadriga on its platform allows its users to trade Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin and now in last week, in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, it had filed for creditor protection.
Jennifer Robertson, widow of Cotten, filed an affidavit on behalf of the company which unveiled that there are 115,000 of the affected customers to whom company owes a total of C$250 million.
Total numbers of users that are registered with the Quadriga are 363,000.
Cotten used to keep the cryptocurrencies in a cold wallet in his main computer and that computer could only be accessed physically and not online, and a more than C$180 million of coins have been stuck in that cold storage with the death of Cotten as he was the only person to have an access to that password-locked computer, said Robertson in the affidavit.
The password or recovery key of the computer is not known to her as she was not engaged in any part of Cotton’s business during his life, and she remained unsuccessful to find them written down at someplace even though she tried hard to searching that, said Robertson.
Robertson also said in her affidavit that she has been facing online threats as well as defamatory comments including questions about nature and even authenticity of Cotten’s death.
“Quadriga’s troubles highlight the unique challenges of cryptocurrencies” and “This really highlights the need for the government to take action and regulate cryptocurrency exchanges,” Dean Skurka, vice president of rival platform Bitbuy.ca, said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.