Cryptocurrency owners have found themselves unable to access their digital assets after CEO and co-founder of Canada’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Quadriga, Gerald Cotten, died in December, CNN reported on Tuesday.
The customers’ funds became non-reachable following Cotten’s death as he was the sole handler of the company’s digital assets and, according to an affidavit filed with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, his widow said that he carried out all work on an encrypted laptop.
“Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere,” the affidavit reads.
Furthermore, according to the document, the majority of funds are kept offline in “cold wallets” — special storage devices used to protect assets from hackers.
According to company estimates, the value of the inaccessible assets amounts to some 180 million Canadian dollars($140 million).
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Canadian CEO Gerald Cotten unexpectedly died in December after suffering Crohn’s disease complications during a trip to India.