QuadrigaCX: Where have all the Cryptocurrency Coins gone?
(Article 1 of the series, Bitcoin and Beyond: The Coming Age of Blockchain)
by Daniela Scalise and James Haft
With the death of the its founder and sole director, QuadrigaCX is locked out of its offline digital accounts holding as much as US137. Gerald Cotten, who died in December of Crohn’s Disease while traveling in India, took the needed passwords with him to access the offline ‘cold wallet’ where the digital coins are stored to protect them from theft though hacking.
On February 5, QuadrigaCX filed for Creditor Protection in a Canadian court to give them time to solve this problem. Cotton’s widow had previously testified that her late husband had handled all transaction on his encrypted notebook computer and they have been unable to break the codes to return deposits to over 115,000 users and take care of cash obligations.
I must confess. I was once involved in cryptocurrency. But got out before I lost anything. It happened last year while browsing the internet for new career opportunities, fed up with my job and in search of more excitement. And, that’s exactly what I got. No cascade of Bitcoin, no Mercedes LK and no stepping up to be the next CEO of the next multi-million Blockchain startup. Still, I did find crypto trade exhilarating, and while my venture was short, it did allow me to gain knowledge and insight into the crypto world, which I think is set to break the bedrock of modern technology with the Blockchain.
It’s ten years since the Bitcoin network was launched by its creator, the mysterious Satoshi Nagamoto, whose identity has been claimed by thousands of ambitious entrepreneurs. On May 22, 2010, the first Bitcoin transaction took place and from there, Bitcoin popularity as a means for transactions grew in value, surging to almost $20,000 by the end of 2007, which might not sound like a lot but, at that time, did grab investors’ attention. A decade later, Cryptoskeptics were delighted to announce the debacle of Cryptocurrency following regulatory setbacks, damaging hacks and several fraud investigations conducted during 2018, the black year for digital currencies. And now we have the QuadrigaCX debacle.
Following these events, according to CoinTelegraph, one of the leading digital media resources on crypto, the total market cap now stands at just around 35 percent of what it was worth in January 2018, its peak almost $830 billion, making the the QuadrigaCX debacle a small drop in the bucket, and although it is true that crypto has now arrived at a crossroad, there are still reasons to think digital currencies and the technology that backs them up i.e., the Blockchain, will revolutionize the normal course of business operations in line with a democratization sentiment.
Without playing down Bitcoin’s historical significance, today, when we talk about the many crypto alternatives, it becomes easy to see why many say this is where the future lies. There are several explosive Alternative Coin Technologies on the horizon that use Blockchain to change everyday life globally, which will be presented in the second of this series of articles on Bitcoin and Beyond: The Coming Age of Blockchain.