An investigation is underway into what Singapore police have called the “unnatural” death of 28-year-old American Autumn Radtke, the CEO of First Meta Pte Ltd, an exchange for virtual currencies including Bitcoin.
Radtke’s death follows a volatile week for Bitcoin. Most significant, Mt.Gox, Bitcoin’s one time largest online exchange, filed for bankruptcy on February 28 after $63 million worth of the digital currency vanished.
After Mt. Gox shut down, prices fell sharply as the bankruptcy rattled the cryptocurrency, which was listed at $565, less than half its value in November.
Death not related to Bitcoin, says colleague
Radtke’s death is the eighth questionable financial services related deaths in two months, although her death appears not to be tied to her business, according to a colleague. A neighbor and fellow Bitcoin entrepreneur Steve Beauregard said Radtke’s death was not related to Bitcoin, indicating it was a suicide based on other issues in her life. “This wasn’t a bitcoin-related death. She had other things going on in her life. Collectively, there were a lot of small factors. … It appears she picked a permanent solution to a lot of short term problems,” Beauregard was quoted as saying in a Reuters report.
Company issues statement
First Meta Ltd. issued a statement on its website, saying they were ‘shocked and saddened’ by the news and gave their deepest condolences to Radtke’s family.
“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.
Ratke’s death assumed not related to rash of banker suicides
There has been no link identified between the recent rash of deaths in financial services, and Ratke’s death appears perhaps the most unrelated. Earlier this month, Li Junjie’s suicide marked the third mysterious death of a JPMorgan banker, as reported in ValueWalk. This followed Gabriel Magee, 39, a vice president with the JPMorgan corporate and investment bank technology arm in the UK, who also jumped to his death from the roof of the bank’s London headquarters on Jan. 28. Perhaps most puzzling was the Feb. 3 death of Ryan Crane, 37, a New York-based JPMorgan executive director in algorithmic trading who had a spotless trading record and was found dead inside his Stamford, Conn., home, leaving a wife and young son. A cause of death in Crane’s case is awaiting a toxicology report to complete.