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Police investigate 'unnatural death' of First Meta Exchange chief

The mysterious death of a US manager running an exchange for virtual currency in Singapore is keeping local police busy. They spoke of an "unnatural death," adding another negative headline surrounding the bitcoin trade.

Singapore police said they continued to investigate what they called "the unnatural death" of 28-year-old US manager Autumn Radtke, who was at the helm of the First Meta exchange trading in virtual currencies, including bitcoins.

She was found dead at her home in Singapore on February 26, with the preliminary assessment being there had been no foul play involved. Police did not specify whether they had any other leads now.

First Meta said on its website it was shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of the company's chief executive. "Autumn was an inspiration to all of us and she will be sorely missed."

Bitcoin credibility tarnished

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Before heading First Meta as of 2012, Radtke had various business development roles at tech start-ups Xfire and Geodelic Systems.

The unclear circumstances surrounding her death dealt yet another blow to businesses dealing with virtual currencies. Bitcoin's credibility for instance suffered severely last week when the Mt. Gox Exchange admitted it had lost almost all its virtual currency in its system because of lax security precautions and filed for bankruptcy in Japan.

More bad news followed on March 5th, when Bitcoin platform Flexcoin from Canada was brought down by a hacker heist. Several nations, including Russia and China, have severely restricted bitcoin-based trading.

hg/hc (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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