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A Surprise Death, and Investors Think Something Is Fishy

Some believe cryptocurrency entrepreneur Gerald Cotten is still alive, want body exhumed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2019 9:09 AM CST
Updated Dec 16, 2019 11:28 AM CST
In this Dec. 8, 2017, file photo, coins are displayed next to a Bitcoin ATM in Hong Kong.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

(Newser) – It was a story hard to fathom, even in the brave new world of cryptocurrency. In January, Canada's biggest crypto exchange announced that 30-year-old CEO Gerald "Gerry" Cotten had died unexpectedly. The twist: QuadrigaCX also said that Cotten was the only one who knew the passwords to encrypted accounts, meaning that at least $145 million from roughly 75,000 investors was gone for good, lost in the ether. Investors, though, aren't buying it. And now, in an extraordinary development, they are demanding that Cotten's body be exhumed to prove that he's actually dead. Coverage:

  • The request: Investors sent this letter Friday requesting that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police exhume Cotten's body "to confirm both its identity and the cause of death," reports CoinDesk. It cites the "questionable circumstances" surrounding Cotten's death and the huge amount of money involved.
  • The death: The company says Cotten died of complications from Crohn's disease while traveling in India in December 2018, reports CNN. His body was reportedly returned to Canada and buried that same month. His widow, Jennifer Robertson, says that she is "heartbroken" at the exhumation request and that there should be no doubt about her husband's death.

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