Quadriga, a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange has lost £105 million after founder Gerald Cotten passed away. The company has been granted temporary bankruptcy protection under in the Canadian Court.
It has been estimated that Quadriga owes approximately 115 000 users $70 million in hard currency and $185 million cryptocurrency.
Quadriga was run almost entirely by Cotten and had no offices or employees. Investigators have been unable to access any of Cotten’s assets because the laptop on which he did all his business is encrypted and no one knows the password or recovery key.
Cotten was a business school graduate who came across as professional and innovative. He saw the potential in virtual currency which had almost no government regulations. Whilst some speculate that the missing money is part of some grand, corrupt scheme, most believe it to be an unfortunate accident after Cotten failed to put the necessary protective measures in place.
Online investigators have reviewed the public transaction history of Quadriga and are beginning to suspect that the money may not exist at all. Some are suggesting that Cotton has faked his own death as part of an ‘exit scam’. As a result of these rumours Cotten’s widow has received death threats online.
Many frustrated customers are now taking Quadriga to court. Canada’s primary securities regulator, the Ontario Securities Commission, are now conducting an investigation into Quadriga. Quadriga has also applied for creditor protection and has assured all of its clientele that it will do its best to make the company as transparent as possible.