Customers of a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange are reportedly unable to access $190 million of funds after the company's founder died with the passwords needed to access the money.
It is noteworthy that the company had also filed for creditor protection on its website.
Robertson said in the affidavit that Cotten's main computer contained a "cold wallet" of cryptocurrencies, which is only accessible physically and not online, and his death left "in excess of C$180 million of coins in cold storage".
Robertson said Cotten, who had "sole responsibility" for the Vancouver-based company's money, stored most of it in "cold wallets" that are not connected to the internet.
QuadrigaCX says founder Gerald Cotten died unexpectedly "due to complications with Crohn's disease on December 9, 2018 while travelling in India" - and was the only person who knew the password to the company's alleged "cold wallet" where it kept the vast majority of client holdings.
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What was the password again? According to an affidavit from Cotten's wife, Jennifer Robertson (via Coindesk), the exchange holds 26,500 Bitcoins, 11,000 Bitcoin Cash, 11,000 Bitcoin Cash SV, 35,000 Bitcoin Gold, 200,000 Litecoin, and 430,000 Ether - presumably all residing on that single laptop. The exchange's founder, Gerald Cotten, died previous year, taking his encrypted access to the money with him and leaving a big problem for investors.
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. Discussion boards on Reddit are peppered with skeptical comments about the company's efforts to work out its issues, and some users say they have upward of $80,000 or $100,000 that has been locked away from them.
A preliminary hearing with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court is set to be held on February 5.
When Quadriga was fully operational, its users could use a variety of means to fund an account with the exchange, from online transfers and automatic deposits to paying via cash or a debit card at thousands of Canada Post locations.
Robertson has retained an expert to try to access the funds but he has so far not been able to do so.