Panicked investors can't get their US$190m after crypto exchange CEO dies

Canadian Apex Court Appoints Ernst & Young Inc. to Investigate Into the Lost Funds of QuadrigaCX

Cryptocurrency exchange loses $145 million after CEO takes passwords to the grave

Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they're owed.

QuadrigaCX says founder Gerald Cotten died unexpectedly "due to complications with Crohn's disease on December 9, 2018 while travelling in India" - and was the only person who knew the password to the company's alleged "cold wallet" where it kept the vast majority of client holdings.

In this scenario, it appears that the exchange's CEO was the only one with the passwords to the cold wallets. Virtual currency exchanges suffered at least five major attacks previous year.

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Robertson was not involved in the business.

Back to the present day, and Cotten's widow has been having to fend off questions of legitimacy surrounding the death all the while trying to follow up with security experts on how to gain access to the large sum of crypto - now behind nearly entirely insurmountable encryption.

"Quadriga's inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost", Robertson wrote in the filing.

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On 31 January, QuadrigaCX filed an application for creditor protection with the supreme court of Nova Scotia, after months of transaction delays. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, and Ernst & Young has been chosen as a proposed monitor.

"For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues", a letter to customers on the QuadrigaCX website reads, "which include 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, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us".

The company hired an investigator to see if any information could be retrieved but ongoing efforts have had only "limited success in recovering a few coins" and some information from Cotten's computer and phone. The latest online speculation suggests that Quadriga CX funds have been moving - even though the firm claims they can't get access.

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