Autumn Radtke, the 28-year-old American CEO of the First Meta bitcoin exchange, was found dead in Singapore February 28 in an apparent suicide. Toxicology test results to determine why she died have not yet been concluded. Notably, on February 10, Radtke linked an essay titled “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship,” writing “Everything has it’s price.” Douglas Adams, the non-executive chairman of First Meta stated that the company was shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke.”
The bitcoin has been plagued by the collapse of the Japanese-based Mt Gox exchange last week after Mt. Gox, which had been the largest bitcoin exchange, lost roughly 850,000 bitcoins worth $400m because their systems had been hacked, as well as the closing of the Flexcoin bank in Canada which was hacked and lost $600,000.
Radke had lived in Singapore for two years; having started when she was 22 as a consultant for Virgin Charter, working with chairman and billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson. Later she worked at Apple selling cloud-computing software to John Hopkins University and Los Alamos Labs.After that she worked at tech start-ups Xfire and Geodelic systems, companies that hat worked closely with giants such as Dell and Verizon.
According to Forbes, First Meta received $466,000 in funding from Sunnyvale, California-based business accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center and Singapore’s National Research Foundation.
The very day that Radtke’s body was found, Vietnam’s communist government warned that trading in bitcoin and other electronic currencies was illegal.
Late last year, China made using bitcoin illegal for its banks and payment systems; Thailand had banned it entirely.
The value of bitcoin has fluctuated wildly lately; in December, one was worth $1,200; after the Mt Gox debacle last Tuesday it was worth $470. Its presently values at $650.