And then, as a Cryptonite, you can at least prevent others from getting your fortune. Gerald Cotten, the founder of QuadrigaCX (the largest cryptocurrency firm in Canada) modified his will in 2019. Twelve days after that modification he died in India. His wife let the world know of the passing of this Cryptonite king 36 days later. He had a fortune of $271 million, and a business pattern straight out of the underworld. At his death, the firm owed $214 million to its clients.
Conspiracy theories abound — the casket was closed and only a few people actually saw Cotten’s body. Causes of death seem shallow in explanation. And Mr. Cotten had no backup plan — whatever the will said about the disposition of his property, no one can get at it because he failed to leave his passwords. Apparently in the world of the Cryptonites if you lose, you lose. No password, no access. Your bank can shut you down after a few failed log-in attempts. But, if you go into the bank in person and do some penance, mumbo jumbo chants, and present 35 pieces of ID, you are back online. And you don’t lose your funds.
Who are these people who created this new currency world? Who are their investors? And do they do background checks on those running the cryptos? Do they have backup plans on passwords? Apparently not, but they have defied death’s old adage — in a way. They do take it with them, sort of.
John Anderson, “He Took His Fortune to the Grave,” Wall Street Journal,” December 22, 2021, p. A15