The news this week was alive with a story about the Canadian crypto-currency exchange QuadrigaCX , who’s CEO is unfortunately not (alive).
Gerald Cotten, the aforementioned CEO is reported to have died in on the 9th December in Jaipur India, of complications from Crohn’s disease whilst apparently opening an orphanage.
As well as being a shocking tragedy for Mr Cotten’s wife and family, it has left the crypto-currency holders at the firm at a loss of about $137 meeellion because allegedly the only person who had the password for the crypto-coins in ‘cold storage’ was? You guessed it Gerald Cotten.
QuadrigaCX has successfully filed for temporary protection from lawsuits, while it tries to work out the passwords, find a way round it, remove parts of the body to enable biometric access etc.
The Internet being what the Internet is – full of the most cynical minded folk, suspicions quickly arose that this may be some form of scam? Is he really dead? Has he Cotten away with it?
These suspicions have been slightly, and only slightly diminished by the publication of an Indian death certificate on coindesk. With India not being the only place where a bitcoin or two can probably buy you many documents of your choosing, we are not surprised.
At our Cyber Summit in 2018, we predicted that governments would have to up the ante on the regulation of crypto-currency markets, which we frequently describe as the new Wild West. When reviewing the prediction at this year’s event (you should have been there), we were able to report;
There has been a lot of talk about regulating Crypto-currency all year and relatively little action until the end of the year.
The Brookings Institution (a US based non-profit public policy organisation) published a paper advising specific measures for crypto-currency regulation. This was followed by an announcement from Republican Congressman Warren Davidson that he would be working on new crypto legislation for implementation in 2019.
In India, a panel tasked by the Finance Ministry announced its draft legislative plan for crypto-currency would be published this in December. An update duly followed in January (not the full document), but at least progress is being made.
In Great Britain, The UK. Cryptoassets Task-force released a report in October that proposed some changes for crypto-currency regulation and raised concerns over how digital assets are traded and used.
One would like to assume that these regulations would include verifiable ‘break-glass’ password recovery protocols should the main man kark it. They cannot come soon enough as far as we are concerned.
If you are an enthusiastic miner or trader of crypto-currencies, be very careful whom you deal with and ask your suppliers some hard questions (like the one about passwords) before losing your life savings please.
If you would like to discuss crypto-currencies, or anything else crypto, our crack team would be more than happy to chat. Contact us at:
In the words of Columbo, “just one more thing”
It is a bit odd that with all these crypto heists we see, a company with access to the tin, can’t get access to the cash, isn’t it now?