Things went from bizarre to worse for the embattled QuadrigaCX exchange this week.
The Canadian company’s strange saga took another odd turn when court documents showed that more than 100 bitcoins were ‘inadvertently’ sent to the deceased founder’s cold wallet last week.
Founder and CEO Gerald Cotton, 30, died suddenly in India on Dec. 9 from complications related to Crohn’s disease. A report filed by court-appointed monitors EY revealed that the transfer occurred on Feb. 6 – the day after courts granted the QuadrigaCX exchange protection against creditor lawsuits.
Cotten is understood to have been the only person with access to the exchange’s cold wallets.
The 103 bitcoins (BTC-USD, +0.19%), with a market value of approx. $370,000 USD, made up more than two-thirds of the cryptocurrencies sitting in the hot wallet of the QuadrigaCX exchange, and more than half the funds thought to be retrievable by creditors. Other cryptocurrencies held in the exchange’s hot wallet include Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Cash SV, Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Gold.
According to court documents filed in Nova Scotia (Cotten’s home province) on Feb. 12, exactly who transferred the bitcoins remains a mystery.
The story of the QuadrigaCX exchange has gripped the crypto industry, while feeding into public and policy concerns about the practices of some startups. As reported in the Toronto Globe and Mail (paywall), the company operated on an unconventional management and governance structure.
“Quadriga had no physical office, no corporate bank accounts or even an accounting department. Cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada are not regulated. No one was watching over the company.”
What became of the money is still unclear
A number of theories have emerged as to what became of the money, and the goings-on behind the scenes at the company since December. Users have been sceptical of the story surrounding Cotten’s death – with some even asking to see a death certificate. Bloomberg has reported that Cotten filed a will 12 days before his death that made his wife executor of his estate and sole beneficiary.
While the story continues to unfold, the customers of the QuadrigaCX exchange and their $190 million in funds owed are caught in a technical and legal limbo.
Court proceedings continue.