Missing $145 Mln After Death of Founder - Could a "simple" smart contract avoid this situation?

Today I watched a video from a youtube channel “The Moon”. Carl the person who ownes the channel covered this story and explained that exchange QuadrigaCX is reportedly missing CA$190 million dollars ($145 million) because of a sudden death of its founder Gerry Cotten.

This story remembered me about a couple of times Ivan made a video in a case something like this happened. Of course we don’t know if this story is 100% true but it really does not matter, as this can happen and will happen sooner or later. Ivan often had a “simple” smart contract idea that would track an activity of a public address and if it would be inactive for let’s say, a period of a year, the smart contract would assume the owner of the address is dead and it would be automatically sent out to another public address. He always had a story about a family in which the father dies and all of his funds get lost, but eventually they would be sent out (thanks to the smart contract) to his son who will be alive. No idea how to make this work on a technical level so I put the word simple in the quotations marks, but either way I think it can be done somehow.

I guess the point of this thread is to make people more aware that situations like this will keep happening and maybe this could be an interesting topic Ivan can cover in this next video once he is back.

Carl said that being the only person knowing your recovery words is like having $1 million in your pocket.

Andreas Antonopoulos said that most people lose their recovery words becuase they make it way too secure beyond their technical knowledge. Its more likely to lose your funds because you lost your recovery words rather then being hacked when it comes to holding your funds in a hardware wallet.

Could a “simple” smart contract avoid a situation like this, what do you guys think? Leave a comment down below so we can all share our opinions.

And finally, keep safe guys and think about how to secure your funds. But most importantly make sure you are not the only one who knows it. I am sure all of you have a friend you can trust. I personally have a friend who knows mine and I know his recovery words.

Edit: Ivan made a livestream today and mentioned this story. (Time 09:10)


It would make sense to have a person’s public and private key pair as part of a safety deposit box in a trust. This way once a person dies, the estate passed on would include the wallet information.

Alternatively, I’d agree with you that I’m sure a smart contract could easily be programmed to execute upon inactivity of a wallet.


Great summary!
I think cold storage should be divided into multiple wallets, as you describe the wallets can be implemented as smart contracts which allow other trusted keys to withdraw the funds after a time of inactivity.

Unfortunately this really shows that many exchanges are run by amateurs.
Be very careful!

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