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Quadriga CEO Gerald Cotten dies, leaving $ 145 million of cryptocurrency locked away



Quadriga, Canada's biggest cryptocurrency exchange, said it's unable to gain access to $ 145 million of bitcoin and other digital assets after Gerald Cotten, its 30-year-old CEO and co-founder, died of complications from Crohn's Disease while traveling in India

Many of the digital currencies hero by Quadriga are stored offline in accounts known as "cold wallets," a way of protecting them from hackers. Cotten appears to have been the only person with access to the wallets, according to court documents cited by Canadian media and posted online at cryptocurrency news site CoinDesk

Cotten's death has plunged into crisis and left it struggling to figure out how to refund more than 1

00,000 of its users.

The company filed for creditor protection in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Thursday.

"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 in cold wallets, "Quadriga said in a statement on its website. "Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful."

Robertson said in the affidavit that the laptop that is used to run the currency exchange is encrypted.

"I do not know the password or recovery key," she said. Beyond bitcoin: the other cryptocurrencies you should know too ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181003132737-bitcoin-investors-gfx-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181003132737-bitcoin-investors-gfx-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181003132737-bitcoin-investors-gfx-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181003132737-bitcoin-investors-gfx-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181003132737-bitcoin-investors-gfx-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181003132737-bitcoin-investors-gfx-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181003132737-bitcoin-investors-gfx-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>

The company has hired tech experts in an attempt to hack into Cotten's laptop and other devices to retrieve the missing cryptocurrencies, but Robertson warned that at least some of them "may be lost." 19659009] Quadriga therefore amounts to about 70 million Canadian dollars ($ 53 million) in cash that is unable to pay back, she said, representing accessing funds through the traditional banking system.

Quadriga and a lawyer representing Cotten's widow, Jennifer Robertson, did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment late Monday.

A court hearing on Quadriga's financial difficulties is scheduled for Tuesday in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

While the case is unusual, it is not the first time the cryptocurrency industry has been hit by security concerns. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of digital currencies have been stolen by hackers over the past few years.

The spectacular boom and bust in the prices of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have presented a quandary for governments around the world, which have taken differing approaches in trying to regulate their use.

Janet DiGiacomo and Jethro Mullen contributed to this report.


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