A software engineer who lost $422,000 worth of cryptocurrency when the passwords to Canada’s largest crypto exchange died with its founder has opened up about his life savings vanishing.
Gerald Cotten, the founder of QuadrigaCX, died as a result of complications arising from Crohn’s disease in India in December. He is believed to have been the only person with access to the encrypted keys to the 250 million Canadian dollars of investor assets.
Among the 115,000 clients affected is Vancouver resident Tong Zou, 30, who lost 560,000 Canadian dollars.
He told Bloomberg: “It’s all my savings, so I’m just living on what little I have left and trying to start over.”
He bought Bitcoin in the US and transferred it over to QuadrigaCX. He then sold it for Canadian dollars, which was supposed to be deposited into his bank account in October.
Tong, who is between jobs, added: “I wasn’t using it for trading – I just wanted to move my money over to my Canadian bank account.
“I was going to use that money for a deposit on an apartment, but now I can’t do that anymore.”
The exchange has ceased trading and was granted protection from creditors last week.
The reaction from investors and customers has largely been one of mounting anger, with many even suggesting 30-year-old Mr Cotten has faked his own death and will live in hiding while siphoning off funds from the exchange’s digital vaults.
Gerald Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson says she is being hounded by continuous claims on social media that her husband has faked his own death in an elaborate hoax.
“But it’s simply not true – this has been a tragedy for anyone who knew Gerry and anyone involved in QuadrigaCX,” an employee and close associate of Jennifer Robertson exclusively said in a Coin Rivet article for the Daily Express.
“To lose your husband, to then face the turmoil and fallout effect of that on the business you grew together while you are grieving for that loss is an enormous burden for anyone’s heart to take.
“Do these people posting these vile accusations on social media have any compassion, or is their one and only thought about money?
“It’s disgusting, and it is taking its toll on Jennifer and everyone here.”