Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

  • Feb. 22, 2019 6:20 a.m.

Kelowna has a connection to the QuadrigaCX CEO who died, leaving an estimated $250 million in cryptocurrency on his laptop and countless investors out of pocket.

A home in an Upper Mission subdivision is among the possessions listed in Gerald Cotten’s will.

The neighbourhood was pretty quiet Thursday, but one person at home said it’s been empty for months.

Just a couple of tracks in the snow lead to the front door and back downt the driveway.

The home that’s valued at $1.3 million on B.C. Assessment appears to be Cotten’s only Kelowna holding and was left to his wife.

READ ALSO: BC CRYPTOCURRENCY EXCHANGE GETS COURT ORDER

An estimated 115,000 QuadrigaCX customers are owed about $70 million in cash and $190 million in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The Vancouver-based exchange was shut down Jan. 28, more than a month after its CEO and sole director — Nova Scotia resident Cotten — died while travelling in India, leaving his company without access to much of its cryptocurrency.

His widow, Jennifer Robertson, has said in court documents that Cotten was the only person with access to his laptop, which is thought to contain the digital keys to the cold wallets.

Cold wallets are offline storage devices protected by encryption technology. Cryptocurrency exchanges typically use them to store the bulk of their digital assets, which puts them beyond the reach of online hackers.

Hot wallets are online sites that store smaller amounts of cryptocurrencies, making them readily available for trading — a practice akin to using a currency float in a cash register.

More to come.

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