The cryptocurrency millionaire Matthew Mellon died of a heart attack on April 16th, leaving more than 500 million dollars in ripple, that most likely, his family won’t be able to retrieve. The millionaire had faced drug problems since 2009, and supposedly was clean and sober, according to a news report from the Daily Mail.
The millionaire had invested heavily in Ripple in its initial stages, a cryptocurrency best known for its utility for banking transactions. According to reports, Matthew Mellon invested in Ripple due to its banking background: being descendant of a long line of bankers, he believed that ripple was the best choice. He stated once:
“CRYPTO IS SCARY AND DARK. IT’S ANTI-AMERICA. I AM PRO-AMERICA, PRO-BUSINESS AND PRO-BANK. THAT’S WHY I WENT WITH RIPPLE.”
The reports of his death are strange: friends affirm that he had more than 90 days sober and that he was headed to an addiction center in Acapulco, but reports states he was found dead after having consumed Ayahuasca, a drug so potent that gave him a heart attack.
Matthew Mellon held almost all of his fortune in Ripple in cold wallets all around the country, with no one else knowing the codes to the wallets. A cold wallet is a vault that is not connected to the internet for safety measures, to avoid hacks or breaches. Without those codes, his fortune is as good as gone.
Fiat currencies in bank accounts are owned by identity; yes, there are many security measures for people trying to impersonate others like security pins, passwords, and security questions, but if you forget all that, you can go to the bank office and confirm your identity to seize control of those funds. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are owned by information; who possess the keys effectively possesses the property of the crypto asset. This gives the user more power over its money but also makes the user responsible for the ownership of the information of access, because there is no centralized institution that will come to the rescue if you lose it.
But according to some reports, hope remains: he had supposedly hidden the codes in vaults in banks all over the USA, but after all this time, his family has been unable to retrieve the funds.