Bitcoin exchange boss, Autumn Radtke, found dead of suspected suicide in Singapore
IT SEEMS controversial virtual currency bitcoin has claimed its first life.
THE American chief executive of a bitcoin exchange has been found dead at her home in Singapore.
Autumn Radtke, 28, was found dead in her apartment on February 28 and investigators are awaiting toxicology tests to confirm that her death was a suicide.
Radtke formerly worked with Apple and other Silicon Valley tech firms on developing digital payment systems before taking up the position with First Meta, an exchange for the digital currency bitcoin.
Douglas Adams, the non-executive chairman of First Meta, released a statement on behalf of the company expressing sadness at the loss of his colleague.
“The First Meta team is shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke. Our deepest condolences go out to her family, friends and loved ones. Autumn was an inspiration to all of us and she will be sorely missed,” the statement said.
Radtke started working in the tech sector at age 22 when she consulted for Virgin Charter and worked with chairman Richard Branson.
Just two weeks before her death, Radtke posted an essay entitled “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship” and in it she said that “everything has it’s price.”
It is this essay that led her friend, Krystal Choo, who founded the online travel firm ZipTrip, to comment that rereading her essay “is killing me.”
“I should have known in a way she was reaching out. I failed her,” she said.
It is the latest in a spate of bad news for bitcoin, founded in 2009, and follows the collapse of the Japanese-based Mt Gox exchange last week after $400 million went missing and the closure of the Flexcoin bank yesterday in Canada after computer hackers robbed $600,000.
As soon as Mt Gox was set up, it started to fall victim to bank heists, with one in every 20 bitcoins in the world disappearing.
Kyodo News said debts at Mt Gox totalled more than 6.5 billion yen ($65 million), surpassing its assets.
Mark Karpeles, known as the “French Marck Zuckerberg”, resigned on Sunday from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation.
Karpeles and his staff have faced death threats.