The controversial virtual currency, bitcoin seems to have claimed its first life. An American chief executive of a bitcoin exchange has been found dead at her home in Singapore.
The 28-year-old chief executive of First Meta Pte Ltd, was found dead on 28 February according to various reports. Although her death is widely ruled as a suicide, local officials are awaiting the toxicology results to determine the exact cause of her death.
The neighbors of the American woman, who ran the small exchange in the Asian city, have said that they thought Radtke jumped to her death from the residential apartment complex.
The company, First Meta said in a statement on its website that they were shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of its CEO, saying "Autumn was an inspiration to all of us."
The company runs an exchange for virtual currencies and assets. After it initially functioned as an online trade platform for the currency used in the Second Life online world, it expanded to other games, Reuters reported. It allowed users to sell bitcoins for dollars last year, although that feature is not currently available.
The company was planning to add bitcoin as another crypto-currency on its platform, but has not yet launched that service.
Her death is the latest in a series of bad news for bitcoin, founded in 2009. The incident follows the collapse of the Japanese-based Mt Gox exchange last week after $400 million went missing. Flexcoin bank in Canada also had to be closed on Wednesday after hackers robbed $600,000.
Here are the top 5 things to know about Autumn Radtke:
- Xfire: Autumn Radtke was the former Director of Business Development at the computer games software company Xfire. The game is considered as one of the world's largest internet gaming communities with over 20 million users.
- In Singapore since 2012: Autumn Radtke has been the resident of Singapore since 2012 according to various reports. She became the CEO of First Meta, an exchange company for the volatile crypto-currency Bitcoin.
- Apple Computers: Autumn has been an employee of Apple Computers once in her life. She worked as a freelancer for the company to provide cloud-computing software to Johns Hopkins University, Los Alamos labs and the Aerospace Corp.
- Richard Branson: Autumn Radtke started her carrier working with Richard Branson. She started in the tech industry at the age of 22. As a consultant for Virgin Charter, she worked with the billionaire entrepreneur Branson.
- 'Awesome' Executive: Autumn, who is a native of Wisconsin, is described as an 'awesome' executive. Jupe Tan, VP of International Operations at Sunnyvale, California's Plug and Play Tech Centre, which invested in First Meta in 2012, told Reuters that she was enthusiastic to start the company in Singapore. He said that First Meta exposure to bitcoin, however, was not significant.
Autumn is also reported to have had other personal problems in her life that could have led to her apparent suicide.
Steve Beauregard, CEO and founder of Singapore-based GoCoin, who rented a room in Autumn's Singapore home said that it was not a bitcoin-related death.
"She had other things going on in her life. Collectively, there were a lot of small factors...It appears like she picked a permanent solution to a lot of short term problems," he told the news agency.