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Cryptocurrency platform users demand creator exhumation

Since the death of Gerald Cotten on December 9, 2018, the cryptocurrency equivalent of 122 million euros has been inaccessible to users of the QuadrigaCX platform. JADE LABRUNYE / “THE WORLD”

Access codes to the cryptocurrency platform, QuadrigaCX, were buried with their creator. Gerald Cotten’s company was one of Canada's largest virtual currency trading platforms, allowing its users to convert or store cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ethereum, etc.) in extremely secure computing spaces. So secure that today no one knows how to access it.

According to his widow, Jennifer Robertson, Gerald Cotten was the only one who knew the password used to unlock the hard drive of his laptop: however, this hard drive contains the cryptographic key allowing access to the QuadrigaCX platform , where exchanges have been blocked since the death of its founder in December 2018. The entire equivalent of the 188 million Canadian dollars (128 million euros) of 115,000 QuadrigaCX customers has since been inaccessible, says his widow.

An unacceptable situation for lawyers for clients of the platform, especially since, since his disappearance, doubts have arisen as to the circumstances of Mr. Cotten's death. On December 8, 2018, he was in Jaipur, India, to help build an orphanage, when he was admitted to the city hospital. According to hospital staff, the Canadian suffered from intestinal perforation and obstruction, peritonitis and septic shock. The 30-year-old with Crohn's disease reportedly died of a heart attack the next evening.

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Suspicious items

In addition to the surprise of this death, people with Crohn's disease usually do not die, other suspicious elements have attracted the attention of former clients of Mr. Cotten. Including the fact that the millionaire had written his will twelve days before his death. In the latter, he makes no mention of the codes protecting his computer.

In addition, analytics company Elementus and several independent researchers have claimed that the transaction records associated with QuadrigaCX, and available to the public, suggest that the money is gone. An analysis shared by financial auditing firm Ernst & Young, which managed to locate five “cold wallets” of the Canadian company, which they said were all empty since April 2018, a few months before the millionaire's death.

Attorneys for QuadrigaCX Clients Now Request that Gerald Cotten's Remains Be Exhumed “Due to questionable circumstances” surrounding his disappearance. They demand that the exhumation take place “By spring 2020, due to concerns over decay” from the body.

Because of these suspicions, Mr. Cotten's widow, Jennifer Robertson claimed to have received threats on the Internet. In a statement from her lawyer quoted in the Canadian media, Jennifer Robertson, said ” devastated “ to learn of the existence of the exhumation request.

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