The unexpected death of Gerald Cotten, 30, the founder of the Canadian digital platform Quadriga, left $137.21 million in cryptocurrencies frozen in users’ accounts because he was the only person with the password to gain access.
He from complications with Crohn’s disease while volunteering at an orphanage in India. Quadriga offered the trading of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, with 363,000 registered users. 115,000 users were affected. Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson was not involved in Cotten’s business while he was alive and did not know the password or recovery key. Robertson said she has received online threats and “slanderous comments”, including questions about the nature of Cotten’s death, and whether he is really dead. Quadriga has filed for creditor protection.
The company hired an investigator to see if any information could be retrieved but ongoing efforts have had only "limited success in recovering a few coins." The majority of the cryptocurrency was kept by Quadriga in a "cold wallet" or "cold storage", which is located offline. The company is due in court in Nova Scotia on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing on appointing firm Ernst and Young as an independent monitor to oversee the proceedings.