People die with knowledge pertaining to books, an art, or science, but in the crypto space, the extraordinary is bound to happen. That has been reported of Gerald Cotten, CEO of QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange who recently passed on with the knowledge of a private key that can unlock C$190 million worth of cryptocurrencies, reports Bloomberg on January 4.
CEO’s Death is Linked to the Inability to Return Customers’ Assets
The industry is in another upheaval about a case surrounding QuadrigaCX who has been unable to return its customers funds. According to the company, the death of Gerald Cotten can be blamed for it. Cotten who passed on, on December 9 from Crohn’s disease is said to be the only one who knows the private key to cold storage that houses Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies.
Reportedly, these funds were stored in cold storage that can only receive and send out money using this private key. The late CEO, on the other hand, had set up security measures on his laptop and email which could be holding the private keys; in order to ensure that customers funds are as safe as possible.
Attempts Have Been Made to Hack into Late CEO’s Computer
However, the exchange may now be regretting the smart moves taken by the 30-year-old given that he could be the only one that can bail them out at this point. According to Cotton’s widow, Jennifer Robertson, attempts have been made to hack into his computers and smartphone in order to gain access to these funds, but none to no avail.
On the bright side, if this was the case of Cryptopia, a New Zealand exchange that was hacked on January 14, it would’ve been a good thing. Coincheck in January 2018 also lost $530 million worth of NEM tokens through a security breach on its exchange. Therefore, Quadriga’s case can be said to be in a bid to protect investors funds.
Crypto Enthusiasts Show Disbelief Towards Quadriga’s Case
Crypto enthusiasts, on the other hand, have not been quick to buy these claims and some have gone ahead to monitor the cold storage. The most recent report reveals that four addresses may have transacted with the storage which should be impossible given that the keys are lost.
Nonetheless, these people cannot be blamed for their unbelief given a number of companies that have used a similar method, to “exit scam”. More specifically, in 2018, a lot of companies in the industry especially those who launched initial coin offerings disappeared into thin air.