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Quadriga cryptocurrency goes missing after founder's death, investigators reveal

E&Y investigators discovered the digital wallets of the QuadrigaCX exchange had been cleaned out months before founder Gerald Cotten died

cryptocurrency
The digital wallets were expected to hold millions of crypto-cash but were found empty

The cryptocurrency wallets of a man who died without giving anyone else the password, have been found empty by the firm appointed to secure access and recover clients' holdings. 

Gerald Cotten, the founder of the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, passed away in India in December last year and was the only person who knew the password to unlock the digital wallets held on his laptop.

READ: Crypto exchange left skint after only password holder dies

Auditor Ernst & Young - appointed to wind up QuadrigaCX - had expected to find the wallets full of C$180mln in crypto-cash deposited by 115,000 customers.

But once E&Y investigators gained access, they discovered the wallets had been cleaned out months before Cotton died, according to the BBC. 

Most of the cryptocurrency that customers deposited with the exchange was meant to be kept in ‘cold storage’, an offline environment designed to protect stored cryptocurrencies from internet hackers.

E&Y said it did not know what happened to the digital cash they had expected to find in the storage.

However, the auditor found evidence Cotten had 14 other user accounts "created outside the normal process" that may have been used to trade on the QuadrigaCX exchange.

E&Y is now looking into the trading that was carried out through these other accounts to find out if it can trace the crypto-cash that passed through them.

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