The QuadrigaCX digital exchange has lost control of at least 137 million dollars because the CEO of the company died and got the codes in his grave.
QuadrigaCX heirs try to hack into his encrypted laptop in hopes of gaining access to the cold wallet.
A Canadian cryptocurrency exchange company, QuadrigaCX, has lost control of at least $ 137 million in assets of its customers following the sudden death of its founder Gerald Cotten, who was the only one with access to its cold wallets. making it impossible for any of its customers to manage the thousands of digital currencies stored on them.
The dramatic error was reported with a affidavit filed Thursday by Jennifer Robertson, widow of the sole director and CEO of QuadrigaCX, Gerry Cotten. Widow Robertson testifies that Cotten died of Crohn's disease in India in December, at the age of 30.
Following the usual security practices of many crypto owners, QuadrigaCX stores the vast majority of cryptocurrency management in a "cold wallet", which is a digital wallet that is not connected to the Internet. This measure is designed to prevent hackers from draining normal hot wallets.
Thursday's affidavit, however, proves that cold wallets are by no means a safe way to secure digital currencies. Robertson testified that Cotten stored the cold wallet on an encrypted laptop. According to company records, the cold wallet holds C $ 180 million (US $ 137 million), which is currently inaccessible to QuadrigaCX and more than 100.000 customers.
"The laptop from which Gerry ran the companies' business is encrypted and I do not know the password or the recovery key," Robertson wrote in her statement. The widow went on to say that she had hired experts to try to decrypt the laptop.
The experts, he added, have already gained access to Cotten's personal and work email accounts and are now trying to gain access to an encrypted email account. Cotten also used an encrypted messaging system, but the chances of successfully reading communications appear dim because, according to experts, the messages will disappear from the encrypted messaging system after a short time.
Ο QuadrigaCX website became inaccessible, providing only a brief update of the status quo.
The strange thing though is that on Reddit, customers of this exchange revealed that they are moving from QuadrigaCX cold wallet to external addresses, digital currencies litecoin.