American Bitcoin CEO, Autumn Radtke, has been found dead outside of her Singapore apartment according to police. Initial investigations showed no indication of foul play in the 28-year-old’s death and police have classified it as “unnatural.” This is the latest misfortune connected with the virtual currency controversy.
When a death is likely not the result of natural causes like sickness or a suspected suicide case the term “unnatural death” is used. In times like these it is left to the coroner to determine the cause of death. In the interim A United States embassy official confirmed Radtke’s citizenship and has provided assistance to her family.
Radtke’s death comes in the midst of the turmoil the virtual currency community is already experiencing. One of the longest established Bitcoin exchanges, Tokyo-based MtGox, collapsed due to a theft of nearly $63 billion worth of Bitcoin. The day MtGox closed the virtual currency was listed at less than half its value in November 2013.
Flexcoin, a Canada-based virtual currency company, was also forced to shut-down after MtGox exchange filed for bankruptcy. Flexcoin said they lost nearly $600,000 in Bitcoin currency after someone attacked and stole from its systems.
Steve Beauregard, CEO and founder of a Bitcoin processor named GoCoin, who lived in the same complex as Radtke does not believe her death was related to her business. Beauregard is a neighbor and fellow Bitcoin start-up entrepreneur. He reported, “Radtke’s death was not related to Bitcoin. She had other things going on and there are many small factors involved. Apparently she decided on a permanent solution to multiple short-term problems.
First Meta made a statement on its website confirming Radtke’s death but did not state a cause. They stated Autumn would be sorely missed, she was an inspiration to all of us. Our deepest condolences go out to all of her family, loved ones and friends. Radtke’s company said her tragic death has shocked and saddened them all.
First Meta is funded by Silicon Valley incubator Plug and Play. It is an online exchange for real money and virtual currencies. Last year First Meta secured funding of $464,000 from the Plug and Play Tech Center.
One Plug and Play employee, Scott Robinson, described Radtke as an ambitious go-getter who always worked extremely hard. Robinson said she hung in there as one of the only women representing Bitcoin.
In 2012 Radtke moved to Singapore from California where she previously worked at a video game currency start-up company. She also held positions at tech start-ups Geodelic Systems and Xfire. She relocated to Singapore in order to head the web-based company First Meta.
Singapore has long drawn a large emigrant community because of the special tax exemptions, as an independent state, it can offer. As a result Singapore provides favorable conditions for start-up ventures. This is Southeast Asia’s main hub for global computer and software companies, technology start-ups and financial institutions. Singapore, however, does not recognize Bitcoin currency as legitimate legal tender.
Approximately 16 days before Radtke’s death she posted the link to an article from Inc. magazine on her Facebook page. The article entitled, The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship, focused on the inner struggles entrepreneurs have to deal with before actually achieving success. Above the post she wrote, “Everything has its price.”
Autumn Radtke, CEO of First Meta’s Bitcoin exchange company, was found dead on February 26. Law enforcement was called to her apartment building where she was pronounced dead at the scene. Initial investigations have ruled out foul play and neighbors say they believe she jumped to her death. Radtke’s death comes as controversy surrounding the Bitcoin sector continues to grow.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)