$190 million in cryptocurrencies may be lost forever. The owner of the QuadrigaCX died while he was in India due to complications from Crohn’s disease and he was the only person with access to the cold wallets. What’s highly suspicious and insane here is that they did not have a multi-signature wallet set up for $190 million worth of customer’s cryptocurrency. 115,000 users are left without their money and that is tragic. Some of these users had very large balances on the exchange with one user apparently having up to $70 million worth of cryptocurrency on the exchange. The exchange has now filed for bankruptcy.
The exchange has been granted an order for creditor protection in Nova Scotia. This is basically a 30-day stay of proceedings in a way to stop any lawsuits from proceedings against the company at this point. It’s a tragic situation when someone dies, a company goes under, thousands of people lose their cryptocurrencies and thousands of bitcoin disappear forever. But then it starts to get weird because the QuadrigaCX case has got a lot of strange things going on in the background. These may be just rumors or things that people are talking about right now when it comes down to what’s going on with this exchange. The reality at the end depending upon what the investigation turns up may prove to be different.
The Series of Coincidences around QuadrigaCX and the death of Gerald Cotten:
Gerald Cotten, who was the only person who knew the passwords for the cold wallets. Before his sudden death, there were also quite a few reports of long delays in getting withdrawals. That itself is a bit of a red flag. There are of course acquisitions that basically you could only withdraw your money when someone else deposited their’s which means that there were serious solvency issues at the exchange if of course, that was true. The accounting of the exchange has been really bad which may be just bad business practices but the company was also hit with cease trading order for failing to file financial statements. Cotten’s wife has also said that she has been unable to find any corporate records.
It is unclear whether or not QuadrigaCX had all of the cryptocurrencies that they say they do which was millions in cryptocurrency at the time of closure and at the time of the founder’s death. QuadrigaCX never disclosed their cold storage wallet addresses. Taylor Monahan, the CEO of MyCrypto has been investigating the Ethereum’s side of this situation. She said that the company didn’t possess a significant amount of its Ethereum to make it liquid and the cold storage Ethereum addresses may not have existed at all. Then it comes to litecoin. It is unconfirmed whether these are the addresses of QuadrigaCX, research has indicated that QuadrigaCX’s litecoin cold storage wallets are moving litecoin after the claim that the keys were lost. However, it is not confirmed whether that is company’s litecoin addresses or not because they are not disclosing that information even now.
The Co-founder Michael Patryn might be a famous conman going by the name of Omar Dhanani who is a convicted scammer. Dhanani was a member of the shadow crew and pleaded guilty to numerous counts of identity fraud back in 2005. He also used the name Omar Patryn in a forfeiture case. These company corporates are the guys who have the KYC information of more than 100,000 users. So this proven identity scammer now have access to all this KYC information which would make it so easy for him to open up new accounts in other exchanges, cashing out using fake id’s. Michael Patryn apparently left QuadrigaCX back in 2016 but considering how fishy the rest of the story is, it would not be surprising if he maintained an influence or a relationship with
Some have speculated that Gerald Cotten faked his own death and basically got a knock-off death certificate in India or perhaps he was killed by his business partners but even the death itself is incredibly suspicious. Dying from Crohn’s disease when only 1.6% of sufferers from this disease die of it and to happen to die from Crohn’s disease in such a young age is incredibly rare. Gerald Cotten was cremated and his ashes were dumped into a river in India and to make it even better he filed a will 12 days before his death. In that will Gerald Cotten accounted for things like his dogs to be taken care of, his house etc. but he casually forgot to include any information about how to release the $190 million in user funds on his exchange which he had the sole access to. Also, QuadrigaCX did not announce his death or the missing keys for a month. With so many coincidences it’s crazy.
QuadrigaCX worked with CryptoCapital who also work with companies like EXMO and CEX which have been having withdrawal issues recently as well, Coinapult which basically stopped business overall on 10th December last year and Bitfinex. All of these have reported withdrawal issues in the recent past. In fact, Cryptocapital on the day of the announcement about QuadrigaCX delisted Bitfinex from their website. This adds to the fishiness of this whole story.
A court-ordered lawyer will be getting a hold of the encrypted laptop from QuadrigaCX and that laptop might actually provide access to $190 million worth of customer funds. An independent third party will be the one taking over the custody of that laptop during the bankruptcy procedures.
Maybe the official story is exactly what happened. Maybe the founder really died and no one has the access to the user’s funds and it’s just a case of coincidences about Dhanani, cremation of the body etc. but if the worst rumors prove to be true and the scammers get caught maybe some people will get a bit of their money back assuming that the lawyers are not able to get it out of the laptop. There is still some hope out there for people.
What are your thoughts on Quadrigacx and the death of Gerald Cotten? Tell us in the comments section below.