About US$190 million in cryptocurrency has been locked away in a online black hole after the founder of a currency exchange died, apparently taking his encrypted access to their money with him.
Canada's largest cryptocurrency exchange is due in court tomorrow as it seeks creditor protection in the wake of the sudden death of its founder and chief executive in December and missing cryptocurrency worth roughly $190-million.
Gerald Cotten, 30, died of complications with Crohn's disease while doing philanthropic work in India in early December, according to a post on QuadrigaCX's Facebook page.
The debt filing comes weeks after Robertson announced that Cotten had died - an event she described as "a shock to all of us".
Meanwhile, Quadriga has filed for a stay of legal proceedings to allow the company and "its contractors additional time to find whatever stores of cryptocurrency may be available", Robertson wrote.
Crypto passwords can't be reset via email - and Cotten was the only person who knew the password to the Canadian exchange's funds in "cold storage", the exchange claims.
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'[This includes] attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit.
"Quadriga's inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost", Robertson wrote in the filing.
While Robertson has hold of the founder's laptop, she is unable to retrieve any passwords for it.
An affidavit filed by QuadrigaCX on January 31 reveals that there are 26,500 bitcoins ($92 million), 11,00 bitcoin cash ($1.3 million), 11,000 bitcoin cash SV ($707,000), 35,000 bitcoin gold ($352,000), 200,000 litecoin ($6.5 million) and 430,000 ether ($46 million) stored on Cotton's encrypted and inaccessible laptop.
Robertson said in her affidavit she has received online threats and "slanderous comments", including questions about the nature of Cotten's death, and whether he is really dead.
QuadrigaCX, at a court hearing set for Tuesday, is expected to ask a judge to appoint Ernst & Young as an overseer for its financial issues.