ANOTHER TIMELY REMINDER that cryptocurrency carries risks beyond the fact that its value has tanked, as $190m in currency is lying in limbo after the untimely death of a crypto exchange boss.
Gerald Cotten, the founder of a Canadian exchange QuadrigaCX, died in December aged just 30. His widow has signed an affidavit to confirm that the cryptocurrency is owed to customers, but that neither she nor anyone else has the necessary codes to access the cold-stored cash.
The exchange has filed for creditor protection (a kind of bankruptcy) when it became clear that Cotten's audit trail was a bit…. well, ok there wasn't one.
Coindesk reports that whilst there is still a small amount of "hot cash" available which the rest of Cotten's team has access to, the bulk of it remains in cold storage, and was, according to the affidavit, only accessible to Cotten himself - so 10 out of 10 for security, but zero out of ten for disaster management planning.
His widow has his laptop, but she doesn't know the password, and despite attempts by experts to crack it open, it remains inaccessible.
There's been some speculation as to whether the death, which happened in India, is all a rouse to allow Cotten to start a new life in the country. Canadian authorities have only offered up that it happened in India, with full details such as cause of death protected by privacy laws.
Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency has plummeted from a high of £14748.90 at the end of 2017, to the current £2629.09 at time of writing, a three month low after several countries including China started shutting exchanges.
Cryptocurrency maverick John McAfee, currently living on a yacht in international waters, has said that if the price of Bitcoin doesn't hit $1m by the end of 2020, he'll eat his own dinkle, and in the run-up, we're keeping an eye on exactly what that means for the 2020 White House hopeful.
At the moment, he's got 694 days for it to go up $996578.58. By our reckoning, he needs it to gain $1,436 a day between now and then to avoid Cock-au-Vin. Place your bets now. μ
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