Death is complicated enough in the cryptosphere when a private investor dies with the private keys to their fortune. But the pain is amplified exponentially should the deceased be the CEO of a digital currency exchange responsible for the safekeeping of millions of dollars. The death of Gerald Cotten, founder and chief executive officer of crypto exchange Quadrigacx, has led to the loss of CAD $190 million (~ U.S. $145 million) stashed in the platform’s cold storage wallets.
Quadrigacx Seeks Court Protection From Creditors
Canadian exchange Quadrigacx this week filed for protection from creditors in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, claiming to have failed to locate or access the money since the death of Cotten on Dec. 9, according to a report by local newspaper The Globe and Mail.
Significant customer investments are understood to be locked up following the loss of cold storage wallets, especially since Quadrigacx was the largest crypto exchange in Canada by traded volume. One customer is reported to have lost $700,000.
Cryptocurrency can be lost, particularly if the owner doesn’t share the private keys that allow access to the wallet to a third party by way of legacy management. Chainalysis estimates that about 25 percent of all bitcoins now in circulation (valued at roughly $23.5 billion) have already been lost forever, with death accounting for a sizeable portion of the losses.
Following the death of Cotten, Quadrigacx has reportedly lost 26,488 BTC, 11,278 BCH, 11,149 BSV, and 35,320 BTG. About 199,888 LTC and 429,966 ETH has also been lost.
‘A Lone-Wolf Operation’
In her affidavit,