We had reported earlier that ‘QuadrigaCX’s Founder Dies, Crypto Assets Worth USD 145 Million Go Missing.‘ The events have unfolded further and now the estimate is slightly higher.
It’s truly a tragic story for investors who put their money in QuadrigaCX, which happens to be Canada’s largest exchange. About $190m in cryptocurrency is now beyond recovery after Gerald Cotten died last December.
We now know that Cotten, the founder of the crypto exchange died of complications from Crohn’s disease, in India last December. He was there building an orphanage for underprivileged kids, but couldn’t see it out till the end. Unfortunately, there is no way to recover the passwords or private keys, without which, the assets cannot accessed.
So what next?
Many investors now find themselves in an extremely unpleasant position where they are locked out of their own money and investments. It is believed that some of that money is probably even lost.
Jennifer Robertson, who is Cotten’s widow, has confessed that the exchange owes its customers roughly C$250m (US$190m) in cash and cryptocurrency held in its “cold storage”. In the court filing, Robertson wrote that there is:
“significant amount of commentary on Reddit and other web based platforms about Quadriga, Gerry’s death (including whether he is really dead) and missing coins”
Amidst this chaos, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) has decide to freeze $28m of assets held by Quadriga, because the real owners of the funds cannot be accurately identified.
Investors are understandably agitated about not being able to recover their money, which is why some of them are going after Robertson. She says she has access to Cotten’s laptop but has mentioned in the filing that she is unable to open it.
“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.”
An expert has been hired to try and recover the funds, but no luck so far. We will have to wait and see how this story further unfolds.
We do not know how or if at all the passwords can be recovered, but we sure hope that all those people get their money back.