Cryptocurrency exchange loses access to $137m after owner dies

User accounts locked on encrypted laptop only accessible by deceased exchange founder

Quadriga had $145 million in bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Quadriga had $145 million in bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Canadian largest cryptocurrency exchange is unable to access around $137m in user crypto funds after its founder died without sharing his password with anyone.

30 year old Gerald Cotton had sole responsibility for handling crypto accounts, and his sudden death in December has seen the company locked out of user accounts.

Digital currencies held by Quadriga are stored offline in accounts known as "cold wallets," a way of protecting them from hackers.

All accounts were accessed through the founder's encrypted laptop, and the company had made no backup provision for passwords or access management in such an event. Experts have been unable to assist the company in restoring some 115,000 Quadriga user accounts.

Quadriga has now filed for creditor protection.

The development will increase calls for regulatory oversight of the wild-west crypto market by governments.

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