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World
05 Feb 2019

Rs. 1,363cr locked after Cryptocurrency boss dies with clients' passwords

Cryptocurrency exchange boss dies with passwords of clients

Customers of Canada's leading cryptocurrency exchange company, QuadrigaCX, are in a huge mess after the company said it cannot repay $190 million (Rs. 1,363 crore) to their clients because its founder died with the passwords.

Gerald Cotten, 30, QuadrigaCX's founder died last year in December due to complications with Crohn's disease, while traveling to India to open an orphanage.

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In context

Cryptocurrency exchange boss dies with passwords of clients
Cotten's wife says no other team member could access funds

Details

Cotten's wife says no other team member could access funds

Cotten's wife, Jennifer Robertson, filed for credit protection on January 31.

On a sworn affidavit, she said that her husband held "sole responsibility for handling the funds and coins".

She added that no other members of the team could access the stored funds.

About $190 million (Rs. 1,363 crore) in both cryptocurrency and normal money is in "cold storage", she said.

Issues

Roberston has Cotten's laptop, but doesn't know its password

Roberston further said that she has Cotten's laptop but she doesn't know the password.

Even a technical expert they hired could not bypass its encryption, she said.

She filed for credit protection along with the company's board of directors, with Ernst and Young expected to be appointed today to oversee the proceedings.

They said that other cryptocurrency communities, especially Reddit users, have threatened them.

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Board says they tried securing cryptocurrency reserves but in vain

Efforts

Board says they tried securing cryptocurrency reserves but in vain

The board, in a statement, said, "For the past weeks, we've worked to address our liquidity issues, including securing our significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold-wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit, and sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us."

They, however, said that the efforts have not been successful.

Complaints

Customers have raised complaints on social media regarding their money

As expected, QuadrigaCX's customers have been complaining regarding the monetary crisis.

Ally Shapoval wrote, "Hello, Quadriga! I withdrew money from my Quadriga account to my bank more than 2 weeks ago. WHERE IS MY MONEY? STILL NOT THERE."

Someone in French wrote, "I have sent lots of emails, but I just get automatic responses, I'm not even able to get my crypto out."

Meanwhile, a conspiracy theory is also doing the rounds

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