Not long after Mark Mota lost thousands of dollars in bitcoin on the B.C. cryptocurrency exchange ezBtc, he and his wife learned their dream of having a child wouldn’t be possible without the help of expensive fertility treatments.

Mota, an IT professional based in Whitby, Ont., told a panel of the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) this week that he lost 3.98 bitcoin to an alleged fraud committed by ezBtc founder David Smillie. It was worth more than $27,000 when he tried to withdraw it in April 2019, and at least $380,000 today.