This happened in Canada! A company called Quadriga Fintech Solutions has lost access to at least $190 million of their client’s crypto-money, as reported. Some reports have the figure as high as $250 million.
The founder & CEO of QuadrigaCX, the crypto trading platform, a man named Gerald “Gerry” Cotton met sudden death while on a philanthropic trip to India. Cotton who suffered from Crohn’s Disease, went to India to oversee the establishment of a new orphanage. While in India, Cotton apparently suffered complications with his ailment and, unfortunately, was unable to recover.
As CEO and Founder of Quadriga, Cotton was the only person in the entire world who had access to the reported $190+ million in cryptocurrency. The explanation given was that ‘the currency had to be stored offline in order to prevent hackers from accessing it’. The currency was stored on a “cold wallet” laptop and no one else in the company knows the passwords.
As Cotten took the passwords to his grave and no one is able to figure out how to retrieve the currency from his laptop, the company was forced to obtain a 30 day stay from the Novia Scotia Supreme Court. This action was to stop lawsuits and protect from creditors which should leave them ample time to try to figure out how to get this sorted out.
There have been a few accusations, mainly from questionable sources like the Reddit forum claiming that Cotton’s death was faked. So far, those have all been unsubstantiated.
As proprietor of the estate, Cotton’s widow, Jennifer Robertson has signed an affidavit in which it’s stated that, as of January 18, 2019, the breakdown of crypto in the balances of the accounts were 26,488.59834 Bitcoin, 11,378.79082 Bitcoin Cash, 11,149.74262 in Bitcoin Cash SV, 35,230.42779 in Bitcoin Gold, 199,888.408 in Litecoin and 429,966.0131 in Ethereum.
As a company, in addition to the Quadriga Trading Platform, Quadriga Fintech Solutions offers solutions like Digital Currency ATMs for merchants and the Quadriga Merchant Platform which allowed online as well as brick and mortar stores the ability to accept bitcoin without worrying about price fluctuations.
It’s yet to be determined how the funds will be recovered and what the full liability of Quadriga Fintech Solutions might face.