Gerald Cotten ran QuadrigaCX, one of Canada’s largest crytopcurrency exchange companies. Last month, the company announced that 30 year old Mr. Cotten died in early December of complications from Crohn’s Disease while building orphanages in India. The company also announced that $140 million of cryptocurrency was unavailable because all of the currency was stored on a laptop that only he had access to and no one knew the password. There is concern that the cryptocurrency will be locked on the laptop forever. However, digital forensic experts have questioned whether the currency is actually on the laptop and whether it was moved previously.
One planning point, one investment point, and a lot of shade.
1. This is a classic instance of making sure that your heirs can access your digital accounts after your death. I advise my clients to write down their passwords to prevent heirs from being locked out after death.
2. Cryptocurrency investments can be dangerous enough without trusting them to a twenty-something operating on a laptop out of his house in Nova Scotia.
3. Not to be a conspiracist, but I do question the legitimacy of reports of a young man dying of Crohn’s disease (mortality rate of 1%) while overseas doing charity work with the death reported a month later, and $140 million possibly missing and not simply locked on a computer. Feel free to call me a cynic, though.
Photo Credit: Benoit Tessier/Reuters
License: Fair Use/Education (from linked article)