Millions in cryptocurrencies frozen after Canadian founder’s death

This file picture taken on February 28, 2014 shows a man talking on a mobile phone in a shop displaying a bitcoin sign during the opening ceremony of the first bitcoin retail shop in Hong Kong. (AFP)
Updated 05 February 2019
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Millions in cryptocurrencies frozen after Canadian founder’s death

TORONTO: About C$180 million ($137.21 million) in cryptocurrencies have been frozen in the user accounts of Canadian digital platform Quadriga after the founder, the only person with the password to gain access, died suddenly in December.
Gerald Cotten died aged 30 from complications with Crohn’s disease while volunteering at an orphanage in India, according to the Facebook page of Quadriga CX, which announced his death on Jan. 14.
The platform, which allows the trading of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, filed for creditor protection in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court last week.
Quadriga has 363,000 registered users and owes a total of C$250 million to 115,000 affected users, according to an affidavit filed by Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson on behalf of the company.
Robertson said in the affidavit that Cotten’s main computer contained a “cold wallet” of cryptocurrencies, which is only accessible physically and not online, and his death left “in excess of C$180 million of coins in cold storage.”
Robertson said she was not involved in Cotten’s business while he was alive and did not know the password or recovery key.
“Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere,” she said.
Robertson said that she has consulted an expert who has had “limited success in recovering a few coins and some information” from Cotten’s other computer and cell phones, but the majority remains untouched on his main computer.
Quadriga’s troubles highlight the unique challenges of cryptocurrencies, Dean Skurka, vice president of rival platform Bitbuy.ca, said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
“This really highlights the need for the government to take action and regulate cryptocurrency exchanges,” Skurka said.
Robertson said in her affidavit she has received online threats and “slanderous comments,” including questions about the nature of Cotten’s death, and whether he is really dead. ($1 = 1.3119 Canadian dollars)


China’s Huawei to launch 5G at Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt

Updated 22 April 2019
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China’s Huawei to launch 5G at Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt

  • The Chinese firm will introduce the technology at the 74,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium
  • The stadium is set to host 10 games including the final of this summer's Africa Cup of Nations

CAIRO: Huawei will roll out its 5G phone network for the first time during this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations, Egypt’s minister of communications and information technology said on Sunday.

The Chinese firm will introduce the technology at the 74,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium, which is set to host 10 games including the final during the competition.

“Egypt wishes to cooperate with Huawei in the field of artifical intelligence, technology transfer and with 5G,” Amr Talaat said.

Huawei is the leading manufacturer of equipment for next-generation 5G mobile signal with almost instantaneous data transfer that will become the nervous system of Europe’s economy, in strategic sectors like energy, transport, banking and health care.

However, some Western nations have barred it amid fears Beijing could gain access to sensitive communications and critical infrastructure but Huawei denies all these accusations.

The biennial Cup of Nations takes place between June 21 and July 19 in the north African country.

Defending champions and original hosts Cameroon are in a tricky group alongside Ghana, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.

Egypt was awarded the staging rights in January, following the decision to strip Cameroon of the finals due to delays in preparation.