New Delhi:  Nearly $145 million worth bitcoin in Canada’s cryptocurrency exchange Quadriga is believed to be frozen in a password protected format after its CEO and sole authoriser passed away in India suddenly.

Quadriga issued an alarming statement affirming that they are unable to access the bitcoin assets after its CEO and Co-Founder Gerald Cotton (30) died while volunteering in an orphanage in India.

The Facebook page of Quadriga on January 14 read that Cotton died due to complications with his Crohn’s disease.

According to a CNN report, many of the digital currencies held by Quadriga are stored offline in accounts known as “cold wallets,” a way of protecting them from hackers. Cotten appears to have been the only person with access to the wallets, according to court documents cited by Canadian media and posted online by cryptocurrency news site CoinDesk.

With Cotton’s death, Canada’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange has been plunged into a grave crises- which has left it struggling to find a way to refund its users that amount to more than 1,00,000.

Quadriga’s website now reads, “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. Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful.”

WHERE IS COTTON’S LAPTOP?

Cotten’s widow, Jennifer Robertson on the other hand has submitted an affidavit clarifying that her husband’s laptop is encrypted and thus she cannot access it anymore than others.

In a statement posted online, she said, “I do not know the password or recovery key. Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere.”