Crypto exchange CEO “took to his grave” $190 mln.
February 05, 2019 @ 13:23 UTC
How often are we told not to share our passwords? Well, customers of Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX wish its founder, Gerald Cotten, had ignored this advice. Cotten, who reportedly died in December 2018, took with him a costly piece of information — the password to access the customers’ digital currency, which is being held in cold storage.
Cold storage is where a holder of crypto assets — in this case, the exchange — keeps the coins offline, or not on a computer or server. While cold storage mitigates the risk of a hack, access to the coins often requires passwords and encrypted codes for the devices that are holding the cryptocurrency. And now the debacle has hit the courts.
According to a report by CoinDesk, Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson, in an affidavit, said it appears a significant portion of the cryptocurrency was in fact held in cold storage and the deceased Cotten was the sole holder of access to the coins, which included around 26,000 bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.04% “The laptop computer from which Gerry carried out the Companies’ business is encrypted and I do not know the password or recovery key. Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere,” said Robertson.
According to the affidavit, the exchange also held around 11,000 Bitcoin Cash, BCHUSD, -0.34% 11,000 Bitcoin Cash SV, 35,000 Bitcoin Gold, close to 200,000 Litecoin LTCUSD, +0.27% and more than 400,000 Ether ETHUSD, -0.25% All told, the value of the digital assets is around $190 million.
Crypto exchange customers can’t access $190 million after CEO dies with sole password, MarketWatch, Feb 05