Millions in cryptocurrencies frozen after Canadian founder’s death

Coinbase Crypto Cold Wallet

A Canadian cryptocurrency company is being haunted beyond the grave by its late founder's password security - because no one else knows how to access its funds.

The company announced his death more than a month later, posting on Facebook that Cotten died due to "complications with Crohn's disease on December 9, 2018 while travelling in India, where he was opening an orphanage to provide a home and safe refuge for children in need".

The Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX owes its customers about $US190 million, or 249 million Canadian dollars, according to CoinDesk.

He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, to avoid being hacked, moved the "majority" of digital coins into cold storage.

According to a report by CoinDesk, a court filing suggests that crypto exchange owes $250 million CAD as most of the funds were kept in a cold wallet (a physical device that isn't connected to the internet) which could be accessed only by Gerald.

However, the funds stored in cold wallets were more as compared to the hot wallets.

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Robertson was not involved in the business.

"After Gerry's death, Quadriga's inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost", Robertson said, adding that the company's access to currency has been "severely compromised" and the firm has been unable to negotiate bank drafts provided by different payment processors.

Robertson said that the exchange's new directors voted to "temporarily pause" the platform on January 26.

It is noteworthy that the company had also filed for creditor protection on its website.

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

In the debt filing, Robertson said she has faced threats and has seen speculation online about whether Cotten is actually alive - some comments on Reddit and elsewhere have speculated that his death could be an elaborate ruse to siphon money away from the exchange's customers. A court hearing is set this week to appoint an independent third-party to oversee the process.

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