Nepal | October 22, 2020

Millions in cryptocurrencies frozen after Canadian founder’s death

REUTERS
Share Now:

TORONTO: About C$180 million ($137.21 million) in cryptocurrencies have been frozen in the user accounts of Canadian digital platform Quadriga after the founder, the only person with the password to gain access, died suddenly in December.

Gerald Cotten died aged 30 from complications with Crohn’s disease while volunteering at an orphanage in India, according to the Facebook page of Quadriga CX, which announced his death on Jan. 14.

The platform, which allows the trading of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, filed for creditor protection in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court last week.

Quadriga has 363,000 registered users and owes a total of C$250 million to 115,000 affected users, according to an affidavit filed by Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson on behalf of the company.

Robertson said in the affidavit that Cotten’s main computer contained a “cold wallet” of cryptocurrencies, which is only accessible physically and not online, and his death left “in excess of C$180 million of coins in cold storage.”

Robertson said she was not involved in Cotten’s business while he was alive and did not know the password or recovery key.

“Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere,” she said.

Robertson said that she has consulted an expert who has had “limited success in recovering a few coins and some information” from Cotten’s other computer and cell phones, but the majority remains untouched on his main computer.

Quadriga’s troubles highlight the unique challenges of cryptocurrencies, Dean Skurka, vice president of rival platform Bitbuy.ca, said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

“This really highlights the need for the government to take action and regulate cryptocurrency exchanges,” Skurka said.

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.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Seven persons made public for murdering two police personnel in Kailali

DHANGADHI: Police have charged seven persons in connection with murder of two police personnel in Kailali district, on Tuesday. They were apprehended for murdering Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Govinda BK, In-charge of Jugeda temporary police beat, and police constable Ram Bahadur Saud. Polic Read More...

Pictures: Bouddhanath, which is usually overwhelmed by spectators, becomes one as an aircraft flies by

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 21 An aircraft is pictured against the backdrop of Bouddhanath Stupa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it takes off from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Tuesday. The Stupa was overwhelmed with spectators during pre-Covid times. Seen in another picture are two Read More...

US spacecraft touches asteroid surface for rare rubble grab

CAPE CANAVERAL: A NASA spacecraft descended to an asteroid Tuesday and, dodging boulders the size of buildings, momentarily touched the surface to collect a handful of cosmic rubble for return to Earth. It was a first for the United States — only Japan has scored asteroid samples. “Tou Read More...

Harry and Meghan decry 'crisis of hate' in social media

LOS ANGELES: Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, spoke on Tuesday about their campaign against social media negativity, with Harry warning of a “global crisis of hate” that was affecting people’s mental health. The couple, known officially as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, led an Read More...

No-confidence motion against Karnali chief minister to be withdrawn

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 20 Co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal today reached a four-point deal to settle intra-party dispute in Karnali Province which resulted in a no-trust motion against Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi. According to Oli Read More...

UK to infect healthy volunteers in vaccine research trial

LONDON: Danica Marcos wants to be infected with COVID-19. While other people are wearing masks and staying home to avoid the disease, the 22-year-old Londoner has volunteered to contract the new coronavirus as part of a controversial study that hopes to speed development of a vaccine. Marcos a Read More...

Govt told to respect citizens’ right to health services

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 20 The National Human Rights Commission has taken a serious note of the decision of the Government of Nepal to deny free medical treatment to COVID-19 patients and to hold concerned families responsible for managing the bodies of their members, who succumbed to the contagion. Read More...

Rashford strikes late as United sink PSG again

PARIS: Manchester United got their Champions League campaign underway in emphatic style when Marcus Rashford's late goal earned them a 2-1 victory at Paris St Germain on Tuesday, handing the French champions their first group-stage home defeat in 16 years. Rashford netted three minutes Read More...