First Meta: Autumn Radtke, Bitcoin CEO, Dies; Suicide Assumed

Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 05:56 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Autumn Radtke, the chief executive officer of First Meta, a bitcoin exchange, was found dead last week, and some reports indicate she may have committed suicide.

Radtke, 28, was found near her apartment tower. Reuters reported that neighbors said they thought she jumped from the tower.

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Foul play was ruled out by police, and although an investigation is underway, many reports are calling the death a suicide.

Radtke, an American, came on board at First Meta in 2012 after working at other startup companies.

Bitcoins have been under fire recently, particularly since the largest bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, filed for bankruptcy in Japan just last week.

On Feb. 10 on Facebook, Radtke posted an article from Inc. magazine about the “psychological cost” of being an entrepreneur. At the time, she tagged a Facebook friend on the post and complimented her, saying, “I really appreciate your posts and honesty about your journey.”

After her apparent suicide, friends were saddened by the post. “Looking at this post makes me very, very sad,” wrote Ken Feldman.

“Totally Ken, I liked the conversation that was happening between Krystal Choo and Autumn Radtke at the time,” answered Michael Turner. “Glad they were supporting each other and showing my empathy for these emotions. Wishing I could have done more.”

First Meta posted a message at the top of the company’s website, saying they were “shocked and saddened by the tragic loss” and sent out condolences to her family and friends. “Autumn was an inspiration to all of us and she will be sorely missed,” the site said.

Friends of the young CEO told Reuters she was struggling with several issues, including running a startup.

"She had a phenomenal network of highly successful people around her, and here she is running this little exchange and it just isn't taking off in the way anybody had hoped," Steve Beauregard, CEO and founder of GoCoin, told Reuters.

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