Cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX has recently been granted creditor protection by the Nova Scotia Supreme court judge Michael Wood – but questions are being asked whether the firm ever had the $145 million it owes its users?
The protection means that for 30 days, QuadrigaCX is safe from creditor’s lawsuits, giving it time to obtain the funds that were supposedly locked after its CEO Gerald Cotton unexpectedly passed away on December 9.
Cotton was supposedly the only person with access to the exchange’s cold storage keys, which were held on an encrypted laptop. The passwords to the laptop were lost when he died.
Recent reports also revealed Cotton filed for a will 12 days before passing away. The documents show he left all his assets to his wife, Jennifer Robertson, and made her the executor of his estate.
The exchange’s complex situation has seen Robertson filed an affidavit mentioned she wasn’t able to retrieve the funds in cold storage. As she explained it: “The laptop computer from which Gerry carried out the Companies’ business is encrypted and I do not know the password or recovery key. Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them [the passwords] written down anywhere.”
To repay its users, the exchange is said to be looking into selling its platform.
However, in a new development, Blockchain portal Zerononcense has published a report claiming that QuadrigaCX never had the $145 million in crypto it claims to have lost access to.
The portal’s research points to the possibility of QuaadrigaCX not having a cold wallet to begin with, and raises questions over its operational practices, and to its supposed failures to access its remaining funds. The research reads “It does not appear that QuadrigaCX has lost access to their Bitcoin holdings. It is worth noting that there are several outgoing transactions that have been made since the alleged date of Gerald Cotten’s passing.”
Speculation has been rife on social media. Some victims claim that wallets holding their funds have moved, other dispute whether Cotten has even passed away.
On that latter point, however, CoinDesk has obtained the death certificate issued by the Government of Rajasthan’s Directorate of Economics and Statistics. The document, the news outlet points out, is the strongest evidence so far for QuadrigaCX’s story.
— ybrenar (@brenarchique) February 6, 2019
Robertson, Cotten’s wife, has reportedly hired a security professional to try to access his laptop to reach the cold wallet.
If she succeeds in gaining access to the laptop, the question is whether she’ll find anything there.