The founder of Canada’s leading cryptocurrency exchange company has died with the password to customers’ money worth $190 million.

Gerald Cotton – boss at QuadrigaCX – was the only member of the company who had the password but died last December.

According to a report by Sky News, the crypto company cannot repay $190 million to clients because its founder died with their passwords.

Mr Cotton is reported to have died “due to complications with Crohn’s disease” while he was travelling in India to open an orphanage.

Deceased boss at QuadrigaCX, Gerald Cotton
Deceased boss at QuadrigaCX, Gerald Cotton

The 30-year-old was solely in charge of handling the funds and coins of the cryptocurrency exchange company before his death.

His wife, Jennifer Robertson, has since filed for credit protection in court following agitations by aggrieved customers.

According to her, the investments of customers worth $190m in both cryptocurrency and normal money is in “cold storage”.

She explained that only her late husband holds the keys to unlocking the funds of the customers.

Ms Robertson also told the court that she has her husband’s laptop but she does not know the password.

She said all attempts to bypass its encryption, including hiring a technical expert, have proved futile.

Meanwhile, some customers of QuadrigaCX have already began agitations over fears that they may not be able to withdraw their monies.

The company’s board is, however, expected to appoint Ernst & Young to oversee the proceedings.

In a statement, the board said: “For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues, which include attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us.

“Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful,” the statement added.