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Cryptocurrency company may lose $145M after CEO holding “wallet” passwords dies

Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Quadriga CX might face a $145M loss from their company after their CEO Gerald Cotten who was the sole person holding the digital “wallet” passwords passed away from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30.

In a report by Bloomberg, the Vancouver-based company could not retrieve $145M worth of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens being held for its customers.

Their digital “wallets” where the keys are stored appeared to have disappeared alongside Cotten’s passing last December 9 in India.

In an affidavit filed by Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson, Cotten’s laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used for his business were encrypted and could not be accessed amid hiring experts to “hack” his devices.

Robertson said: “After Gerry’s death, Quadriga’s inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost.”

The firm meanwhile posted a notice to their customers on their website about what the company has been facing after their CEO’s death.

“For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues, which include attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us. Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful,” Quadriga CX stated.

However, some are skeptical over the CEO’s death as speculations and theories about a possible ‘scam’ have been circulating online forums.

(Photo source: news.yale.edu/ cbc.ca)