Cryptocurrency exchange loses $145 million as founder's death locks out investors

09 February, 2019, 12:14 | Author: Erin Carter
  • Did QuadrigaCX lie about its back up wallets in order to liquidate

The death of Canadian entrepreneur Gerald Cotten, died due to complications with Crohn's disease while travelling in India in December, has left a huge stash of cryptocurrencies locked off from the people who own them.

Quadriga owes $70 million in currency and an additional amount of cryptocurrency valued at approximately $180 million, based on market prices in December, to roughly 115,000 users, it said in its application.

According to court documents obtained by crypto news site CoinDesk, Robertson said Cotton left no business records, while attempts by a technical expert employed by the firm to bypass the computer's encryption and reach the capital being held in "cold storage" have so far failed.

Another wrote in French: "I have sent lots of emails, but I just get automatic responses, I'm not even able to get my crypto out".

As a result, on Tuesday, a Vancouver court may appoint auditors Ernst & Young to act as an independent third party to oversee proceedings for Quadriga CX.

In a statement, QuadrigaCX said it had "worked extensively" to locate its "very significant cryptocurrency reserves", adding: 'Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful'.

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"I do not know the password or recovery key", she said in an affidavit.

Online forums are boiling with conspiracy theories, including whether Cotten has died at all, if the whole operation is a scam, and why he would travel in India if he had Crohn's disease given the country's dodgy drinking water issues.

A Canadian crypto exchange called QuadrigaCX has announced that it lost nearly about $190 million in crypto it was holding for customers. That laptop will now be delivered to creditors' lawyers and then handed over to a monitor appointed by the court.

Though several crypto investors have filed cases against the Canadian exchange to retrieve their lost funds, the court has given a 30-day stay to prevent lawsuits at this time.

QuadrigaCX had been plagued with legal trouble in the past year: In early 2018, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce froze more than US$25m of QuadrigaCX's assets after noticing "irregularities" in the exchange's payment processes. Only after the company unlocks the system and moves Bitcoins out of cold storage and into a less secure "hot wallet" on the exchange are users able to spend, trade, withdraw, or transfer their Bitcoins.

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