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Author Topic: QuadrigaCX: $190 million locked after founder died in December 2018  (Read 471 times)
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February 04, 2019, 09:10:47 PM
 #1

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/04/quadrigacx-canada-cryptocurrency-exchange-locked-gerald-cotten

Sadly the founder of the largest crypto-exchange in Canada (Gerald Cotten) died in December 2018 while visiting India. He was only 30 years old and according to the company website was visiting India because he was opening an orphanage there but died from complications with Crohns disease.

It is reported all the company business is done from one laptop and his widow does not have the password.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) has frozen $28m of assets held by QuadrigaCX but the total losses being faced are at todays rate around $190 million because nobody has access to the laptop password. Even if the laptop was unlocked there is no way of knowing yet if the private keys and passwords for the crypto are stored on it or not.


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Raja_MBZ
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February 04, 2019, 09:40:36 PM
 #2

On a side note: Death certificate in India costs money, not the death.

Does someone know where his body is?

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February 04, 2019, 11:07:36 PM
 #3

Does someone know where his body is?
I think it's only a matter of years at most to see him get arrested. I don't believe anything of what these con artists are trying to pull off here. It's so easy to live unnoticed in certain countries, especially with false documents.

With that amount of money as 'reward', I'm sure that there is enough incentive and will to stay under the radar for a long period of time. It's a well executed plan with enough time put into thinking through every possible scenario.

It wouldn't even surprise me if he ends up sending funds back home one way or another. Eventually he'll make a mistake and the authorities will whoop his bum....

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February 04, 2019, 11:15:44 PM
 #4

Does someone know where his body is?
I think it's only a matter of years at most to see him get arrested. I don't believe anything of what these con artists are trying to pull off here. It's so easy to live unnoticed in certain countries, especially with false documents.

With that amount of money as 'reward', I'm sure that there is enough incentive and will to stay under the radar for a long period of time. It's a well executed plan with enough time put into thinking through every possible scenario.

Exactly! I've got a similar feeling.

However, I'd not be so sure about him making any mistake and getting noticed by the authorities:

Quote
Eventually he'll make a mistake and the authorities will whoop his bum....

He's probably going to play everything very cleverly, let's see if it's "clever-enough".

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February 04, 2019, 11:30:40 PM
 #5

If they have the laptop they can easily remove the password on Windows OS but the big problem is if it has the password or even private keys.

Honestly, 190m is a big amount why don't they hire some IT tech to remove the password so that they can check if there is a note for a list of private keys or password somewhere on the laptop. Or even getting the email that already saved from his laptop I'm sure he never clear his browser cookies and cache.

The only thing comes to my mind if it's true that he really died? If his body came back to Canada? Otherwise it is clear that they have only made this reason to run all the investments.

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February 04, 2019, 11:35:36 PM
 #6

If they have the laptop they can easily remove the password on Windows OS but the big problem is if it has the password or even private keys.

Honestly, 190m is a big amount why don't they hire some IT tech to remove the password so that they can check if there is a note for a list of private keys or password somewhere on the laptop. Or even getting the email that already saved from his laptop I'm sure he never clear his browser cookies and cache.

The only thing comes to my mind if it's true that he really died? If his body came back to Canada? Otherwise it is clear that they have only made this reason to run all the investments.

I'm pretty curious also if he really died in that country. The info is quite questionable though. He's very young and why the sudden death in another country? But, if it's really true, then I feel sorry for his family. But then again, I just hope that he's not doing this for his own benefit, if ever he's still alive.
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February 04, 2019, 11:45:57 PM
 #7

On a side note: Death certificate in India costs money, not the death.

Does someone know where his body is?

I am looking online about his body being repatriated to Canada but did not find anything but I do not see a scam here.

I do find it unprofessional and incompetent if a company (especially an exchange) would have just person who has access to funds and wallets even in the event of death but right now I hope his family are coping with the death of their loved one. I also hope somehow funds will be recovered so no investors lose out.

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February 05, 2019, 12:18:12 AM
 #8

On a side note: Death certificate in India costs money, not the death.

Does someone know where his body is?

I am looking online about his body being repatriated to Canada but did not find anything but I do not see a scam here.

I do find it unprofessional and incompetent if a company (especially an exchange) would have just person who has access to funds and wallets even in the event of death but right now I hope his family are coping with the death of their loved one. I also hope somehow funds will be recovered so no investors lose out.

I hate to seem insensitive, but I prefer the Duck test.  "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." This has all the markers of a scam.

The owner executed a will two weeks before his death! Then, faced with mounting unfulfilled withdrawal requests on his exchange, he skips off to India with all the private keys and just happens to die? All while leaving zero processes in place to properly run the company or guarantee customer deposits? Only scammers operate that way. There's nothing remotely normal or explainable about that scenario. This isn't negligence. It's malice.

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February 05, 2019, 12:39:43 AM
 #9

Does someone know where his body is?
I think it's only a matter of years at most to see him get arrested. I don't believe anything of what these con artists are trying to pull off here. It's so easy to live unnoticed in certain countries, especially with false documents.

With that amount of money as 'reward', I'm sure that there is enough incentive and will to stay under the radar for a long period of time. It's a well executed plan with enough time put into thinking through every possible scenario.

It wouldn't even surprise me if he ends up sending funds back home one way or another. Eventually he'll make a mistake and the authorities will whoop his bum....

Are you actually saying he is alive and the news of his death is an elaborate hoax?

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February 05, 2019, 01:02:41 AM
 #10

Does someone know where his body is?
I think it's only a matter of years at most to see him get arrested. I don't believe anything of what these con artists are trying to pull off here. It's so easy to live unnoticed in certain countries, especially with false documents.

With that amount of money as 'reward', I'm sure that there is enough incentive and will to stay under the radar for a long period of time. It's a well executed plan with enough time put into thinking through every possible scenario.

It wouldn't even surprise me if he ends up sending funds back home one way or another. Eventually he'll make a mistake and the authorities will whoop his bum....

Are you actually saying he is alive and the news of his death is an elaborate hoax?

Actually, it's not just us:


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February 05, 2019, 01:24:59 AM
 #11

If they have the laptop they can easily remove the password on Windows OS but the big problem is if it has the password or even private keys.

Honestly, 190m is a big amount why don't they hire some IT tech to remove the password so that they can check if there is a note for a list of private keys or password somewhere on the laptop. Or even getting the email that already saved from his laptop I'm sure he never clear his browser cookies and cache.

The only thing comes to my mind if it's true that he really died? If his body came back to Canada? Otherwise it is clear that they have only made this reason to run all the investments.

I'm pretty curious also if he really died in that country. The info is quite questionable though. He's very young and why the sudden death in another country? But, if it's really true, then I feel sorry for his family. But then again, I just hope that he's not doing this for his own benefit, if ever he's still alive.

No news outlet seems to imply he faked his own death. Not yet.

This sounds similar to the XRP billionaire who sadly passed away last year without leaving his private keys or wallet passwords in a will but the main difference between his situation and this QuadrigaCX situation is that he was a private individual who hit the big time becoming a whale: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4331794.0

In the case of QuadrigaCX, the crypto belonged to investors and was operated by Gerald Cotten on behalf of a company operating QuadrigaCX therefore private keys, wallets and passwords should have been backed up for next of kin or next in line to operate the business.

I am baffled as to why and how an exchange owner/operator especially one with nearly $200 million of customer crypto would not make provisions about what would happen in the event of his death or incapacity to run the business. Imagine if the same thing happened to Coinbase, Binance, Bitmart or OKEx we would all be up in arms about it. Surely those exchanges have all made arrangements for the business to continue seamlessly regardless of when any number of their owners/operators sadly pass.

Something is seriously wrong with no provisions being made but that does not automatically mean the man faked his own death. We need evidence to back up that allegation and right now nothing has been presented.

Will be interesting to see what happens in the coming days.

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February 05, 2019, 02:54:34 AM
 #12

Not sure what happened but there was a Medium article (which vanished when the author’s account got suspended for some readon) that made me thing this may be just an elaborated exit scam:

Quote
Below are the findings made by the author of this report:

It appears that there are no identifiable cold wallet reserves for QuadrigaCX.

It appears that QuadrigaCX was using deposits from their customers to pay other customers once they requested their withdrawal.

It does not appear that QuadrigaCX has lost access to their Bitcoin holdings.
It appears the number of bitcoins in QuadrigaCX’s possession are substantially less than what was reported in Jennifer Robertson’s (wife of allegedly deceased CEO and Owner Gerry Cotten) affidavit, submitted to the Canadian courts on January 31st, 2019.

At least some of the delays in delivering crypto withdrawals to customers were due to the fact that QuadrigaCX simply did not have the funds on hand at the time. In some cases, QuadrigaCX was forced to wait for enough customer deposits to be made on the exchange before processing crypto withdrawal requests by their customers.

After completing the analysis, it is the author’s opinion that QuadrigaCX has not been truthful with regards to their inability to access the funds needed to honor customer withdrawal requests. In fact, it is almost impossible to believe that this is the case in lieu of the empirical evidence provided by the blockchain.

Link of the article before it went off: https://medium.com/@zeroresearchproof/quadrigacx-chain-analysis-report-pt-1-bitcoin-wallets-19d3a375d389

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February 05, 2019, 10:21:27 AM
 #13

I hate to seem insensitive, but I prefer the Duck test.  "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." This has all the markers of a scam.

The owner executed a will two weeks before his death! Then, faced with mounting unfulfilled withdrawal requests on his exchange, he skips off to India with all the private keys and just happens to die? All while leaving zero processes in place to properly run the company or guarantee customer deposits? Only scammers operate that way. There's nothing remotely normal or explainable about that scenario. This isn't negligence. It's malice.

I would tend to agree with you about the duck test but all depends on what happens with regards to his body being repatriated.

If there is a body and it is identified as being him then there is probably no scam.

If there is no body then the duck test rules

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February 05, 2019, 10:42:13 AM
 #14

I hate to seem insensitive, but I prefer the Duck test.  "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." This has all the markers of a scam.

The owner executed a will two weeks before his death! Then, faced with mounting unfulfilled withdrawal requests on his exchange, he skips off to India with all the private keys and just happens to die? All while leaving zero processes in place to properly run the company or guarantee customer deposits? Only scammers operate that way. There's nothing remotely normal or explainable about that scenario. This isn't negligence. It's malice.

I would tend to agree with you about the duck test but all depends on what happens with regards to his body being repatriated.

If there is a body and it is identified as being him then there is probably no scam.

If there is no body then the duck test rules

Okay, that's fair enough. If his body comes back to Canada and is positively identified as him, I'll admit it probably wasn't a scam. If it's truly like the court filings say, it's like somebody getting struck by lightning twice. Not impossible, but really unlikely.

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February 05, 2019, 12:15:06 PM
 #15

Actually, it's not just us:

-snip-
It's a horrible event for all involved parties, but as always, every negative event has a good side to it, and that's Bitcoins being taken out of circulation for ever in case this doesn't turn out to be a scam. It really start to look like people are picking up on how these situations aren't a danger for the market, but a blessing with how these coins aren't likely going to be dumped any time soon, and possibly never will be.

I am baffled as to why and how an exchange owner/operator especially one with nearly $200 million of customer crypto would not make provisions about what would happen in the event of his death or incapacity to run the business.
Scammers want an easy entry and exit point, and I think that the operator of this exchange has made sure all the gates are open to run off with people's funds. I'm pretty certain that Coinbase CEO has no direct access to any of the cold wallets they have, and that's how an exchange should be operated. No single individual should have access to these funds.
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February 05, 2019, 02:00:56 PM
Last edit: February 05, 2019, 02:57:32 PM by JollyGood
 #16

I am baffled as to why and how an exchange owner/operator especially one with nearly $200 million of customer crypto would not make provisions about what would happen in the event of his death or incapacity to run the business.
Scammers want an easy entry and exit point, and I think that the operator of this exchange has made sure all the gates are open to run off with people's funds. I'm pretty certain that Coinbase CEO has no direct access to any of the cold wallets they have, and that's how an exchange should be operated. No single individual should have access to these funds.

Going by what you wrote am I right in thinking that you feel the man is alive and faked his death?

Or really is he dead and gave access/keys/wallets access to "somebody" and that "somebody" is staying quiet?

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February 05, 2019, 02:51:45 PM
 #17

Going by what you wrote am I right in thinking that you feel the man is alive and faked his death?

Or really is dead and gave access/keys/wallets access to "somebody" and that "somebody" is staying quiet?

I'm more inclined to assume that the first option has happened considering how shady the situation as a whole is, but can't completely rule out the second option either. It's easy for us to write something on a forum where we only know what we are allowed to know, so it's going to be a matter of time where I would want the authorities to provide some actual insight.

I was wondering, does anyone know what their BTC cold/hot wallet addresses are? I have been searching for any, but didn't come further than a few sherlock holmes keyboard detectives trying to dig into it on reddit, but this isn't helping either. If they are known, we can at least see for ourselves if one of these scammers still have access to these wallets.
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February 05, 2019, 03:00:55 PM
Last edit: February 05, 2019, 03:14:00 PM by JollyGood
 #18

I hate to seem insensitive, but I prefer the Duck test.  "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." This has all the markers of a scam.

The owner executed a will two weeks before his death! Then, faced with mounting unfulfilled withdrawal requests on his exchange, he skips off to India with all the private keys and just happens to die? All while leaving zero processes in place to properly run the company or guarantee customer deposits? Only scammers operate that way. There's nothing remotely normal or explainable about that scenario. This isn't negligence. It's malice.

I would tend to agree with you about the duck test but all depends on what happens with regards to his body being repatriated.

If there is a body and it is identified as being him then there is probably no scam.

If there is no body then the duck test rules

Okay, that's fair enough. If his body comes back to Canada and is positively identified as him, I'll admit it probably wasn't a scam. If it's truly like the court filings say, it's like somebody getting struck by lightning twice. Not impossible, but really unlikely.

His death certificate has been posted online after his wife/widow received death threats.



He suffered from Crohns disease and that was what given as the cause of his untimely death.

Yes there are red flags such as his will being changed/update a couple of weeks before he died and several others but the man knew he was ill but surely hoped to overcome his illness but to be on the safe side he made a Will for the sake his wife and two pet chihuahua that are said to receive $100,000 for them to be taken care of. Somehow he did not make plans in his Will for the customers that deposited $190 million worth of crypto with him

https://cryptonews.com/news/the-quadrigacx-case-just-got-a-whole-lot-more-complicated-3309.htm:

"A Reddit user under the username u/Palhello claims he studied all major wallets that interacted with the exchange’s hot wallet. The user discovered that several wallets have initiated transactions fairly recently after QuadrigCX’s case was publicized. The user claimed that the four addresses evaluated in the research have been controlled by QuadrigaCX in the past, adding: “If these are really cold addresses there should be no outgoing transaction from them if private key is lost. Regardless, the addresses posted are or at least used to be controlled by Quadriga.”

Also this from the same link https://cryptonews.com/news/the-quadrigacx-case-just-got-a-whole-lot-more-complicated-3309.htm:

Interestingly, an increasing number of people is suspicious about the story surrounding Cotten’s alleged passing. One of them is Jesse Powell, co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, who tweeted, “We have thousands of wallet addresses known to belong to @QuadrigaCoinEx and are investigating the bizarre and, frankly, unbelievable story of the founder's death and lost keys.

According to local news outlet The Globe and Mail, Cotten was diligent in other areas of his life. He reportedly signed a will on November 27th, less than two weeks before he supposedly died. He appointed Robertson as the executor of his estate and outlined the distribution of his assets, including an airplane, property in British Columbia and Nova Scotia, and two pet chihuahuas named Nitro and Gully, along with USD 100,000 for their care. However, he seems to have forgotten about the private keys to the crypto funds.


Now even Kraken CEO is saying in effect implying the "death and locked wallets" story is hard to believe. A Reddit user (u/Palhello) says addresses associated with and operated by QuadrigaCX have had withdrawals on them AFTER the news of his death broke.

I am still confused about why there as no back up plan to allow other board members access to the funds IF he became incapacitated or unfortunately passed. The plot thickens....

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February 06, 2019, 02:10:59 AM
 #19

Well looks like we are now on the news
It's the second video that loads not the first summary video, 5 minute video with Keyan.
Third Clip is Bloomberg
https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/cryptocurrency-exchange-gets-court-orders-amid-hunt-for-elusive-assets-1.4283265
https://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=64268
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February 09, 2019, 11:41:13 AM
 #20

QuadrigaCX Victims Won’t Get Any Help from Canadian Regulator Over $136 Million in Lost Crypto

https://www.ccn.com/quadrigacx-victims-wont-get-any-help-from-canadian-regulator-over-136-million-in-lost-crypto/
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