In 2019, one of the most interesting and controversial stories within the crypto universe was the Puerto Rico CX case. In that case, the now-defunct QuadrigaCX exchange lost hundreds of millions of customer funds after their CEO, who was the only one with access to the cold wallet in which the funds were stored, died suddenly. The story saw attention from both crypto-focused media and mainstream media as it was a worst-case scenario and brought forward discussion about cold wallet security and access to exchange funds.
It seems this incident is repeating itself as it was reported on November 1, 2019 that Tawanda Kembo, the founder and CEO of the Zimbabwean cryptocurrency exchange Golix, has lost the password to the cold wallets for his exchange that contains customer funds.
Even though it is being reported on now, it is alleged that the cold wallet password was lost as far back as me 2018 and this has allegedly been confirmed by two separate sources that are close to the matter to local news. This is not the only time that the exchange has been in the news as it was reported previously that the reserve bank of Zimbabwe has already ordered the exchange to shut down all their activities for violation of regulatory provisions.
Following these allegations, Golix has apparently has been unresponsive to customers and many of them have had trouble withdrawing their funds from the crypto exchange which does seem to support the theory of them losing their cold wallet passwords and not being allowed to continue with operations. Their CEO responded to these allegations in a recent blog post in which he stated that 99 percent of their customers are able to withdraw their funds without any issue and these complains come from the small one percent that have issues. The blog post, however, did not address the rumors of them losing its cold wallet password which is reported to contain about 33 bitcoin worth $305,000. Instead, Kembo stated that this situation has been taken out of context by the media but did not confirm or deny the reports of the missing password.