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Author Topic: [2019-02-06] Locked bitcoins in QuadrigaCX might be another exit scam.  (Read 428 times)
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February 06, 2019, 04:14:08 AM
 #1

Does everyone remember the story of QuadrigaCX's founder, who was claimed to be the only person in control of the exchange's cold wallet, died in India on December, 2018? There are new stories surfacing that the people left running the exchange are using the founder's death to exit scam.

We might begin witnessing more small exchanges doing exit scams if the bear market extends out longer.

Also, do not trade in small and unknown exchanges.


Quadriga's motto

The Canadian exchange claims it has lost access to $145 million of digital assets due to its founder’s death, however, it is likely that QuadrigaCX never had this money.

QuadrigaCX, the largest Canadian cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trade volume, has recently grabbed the headlines due to its controversial insolvency. It filed for creditor protection after the sudden death of the company’s founder and CEO Gerald Cotten, which had led to the liquidity crisis.

The explanation for this was rather extraordinary. It turned out that Cotten was the only person who controlled all private keys to the cold storage wallets where QuadrigaCX used to hold almost all of its funds. As a result, QuadrigaCX had to confess it failed to locate or access about $145 million in various digital assets.

At first, humanity prevailed. After all, Cotten was only 30 years old, and he went to India with a charitable goal to open an orphanage where he died. Meanwhile, his widow has been reportedly receiving threats from the clients of the exchange, who are furious and learning a tough lesson of the golden cryptocurrency rule, ‘not your keys, not your coins.’

Notably, Jesse Powell, the head of the Kraken exchange, which is one of the largest and most influential exchanges, also shares these views. In his latest post on Twitter, he touched on issues of witnesses, identity verification, and credibility of a death certificate. He is ready to share some insider information with Canadian authorities if the need arises.

Besides the above-mentioned $145 million in digital assets, the exchange also owes its users more than $50 million in fiat currency, according to the court filing. The fiat issues started because of a legal dispute between QuadrigaCX and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), which last year froze multi-million accounts linked to Costodian Inc., one of Quadriga’s payment processors. There were also problems with Billerfy and WB21, two more payment processors working with Quadriga and are holding part of its funds.

In this regard, Powell claimed the entire case looked very much like an exit scam. He cites the suspicious combination of recent developments, including sudden disappearance of the founder after fiat problems and high withdrawals.

To make things worse, a respected crypto industry researcher, Crypto Medication, published a comprehensive blockchain analysis of Quadriga’s addresses and transactions. Based on its findings, the experts concluded that QuadrigaCX did not have as much Bitcoin as it claimed on the affidavit which it submitted to the Canadian court.

Even worse, the researchers revealed that the exchange had no identifiable cold wallet reserves. Instead, it used one client’s deposits to fund another client’s withdrawals. This explains the occasional delays in withdrawal execution, as sometimes QuadrigaCX did not have enough liquid funds at its disposal.


Read in full https://beincrypto.com/quadrigacx-saga-human-tragedy-or-yet-another-exit-scam/

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February 06, 2019, 05:07:37 AM
Merited by micgoossens (1), o_e_l_e_o (1)
 #2

Does everyone remember the story of QuadrigaCX's founder, who was claimed to be the only person in control of the exchange's cold wallet, died in India on December, 2018? There are new stories surfacing that the people left running the exchange are using the founder's death to exit scam.

We might begin witnessing more small exchanges doing exit scams if the bear market extends out longer.

Also, do not trade in small and unknown exchanges.

this is a really important point many folks don't realize. when the bull market is raging, exchanges---even fractional reserve ones---can keep riding the gravy train. it's during the bear market that we see who's been swimming naked, so to speak.

i've been quietly expecting some events like cryptopia and quadriga to unfold for a while now, particularly after the crash from $6k. this is the most brutal part of the bear cycle. volumes and revenues are dead, hype is long gone, overheads are bleeding businesses dry. all of a sudden, getting "hacked" and closing up shop starts to look a lot more tempting.

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February 06, 2019, 05:56:35 AM
 #3

I'm not familiar with QuadrigaCX until it was on the news with  some bad exposee that the owner was totally dead. I don't have 100% source that the owner is totally dead. I have read some comments that it truly might be an exit scam and they haven't  shown an actual proof that guy was caught dead. I hope that this case wouldn't be the same as Mt.Gox. It's a lot of money that they have locked and why on Earth they didn't used multisig wallet?

 
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February 06, 2019, 06:31:15 AM
 #4

why on Earth they didn't used multisig wallet?

There are a lot of stories, one of them said that Quadriga did in fact used a multisig wallet. But it doesn't matter if they don't have the money in the first place. Lots of people are starting to do their own chain analysis to find out where exactly does Quadriga store their money. Everything related to Cryptocapital sounds very shady now.

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February 06, 2019, 06:41:22 AM
 #5

why on Earth they didn't used multisig wallet?

There are a lot of stories, one of them said that Quadriga did in fact used a multisig wallet. But it doesn't matter if they don't have the money in the first place. Lots of people are starting to do their own chain analysis to find out where exactly does Quadriga store their money. Everything related to Cryptocapital sounds very shady now.

cryptocapital is shady. like bitfinex, they bank like criminals and organize themselves offshore under a cloak of anonymity.

i don't think they're shady because of their association with quadriga though. they're just a payment processor/bank who works with lots of crypto exchanges. although maybe youre right that it does raise questions about cryptocapital's due diligence on their clients. they're known for working with smaller and less compliance-minded exchanges.

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February 06, 2019, 06:59:29 AM
 #6

If this is really an exit scam,I'm pretty sure that the QuadrigaCX's coins will be sold,or atleast moved to some other wallets.Perhaps there is a way to track those transactions.
"Using one client's deposits to fund other client's withdrawals" looks like a clissical ponzi scheme.
Other small crypto exchanges are going the same scam,and they will burst soon.
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February 06, 2019, 07:45:30 AM
 #7

There are new stories surfacing that the people left running the exchange are using the founder's death to exit scam.
I think it is more likely the founder has faked his death, and it is him that is still in control of the exchange's addresses.


If this is really an exit scam,I'm pretty sure that the QuadrigaCX's coins will be sold,or atleast moved to some other wallets.
Remember that Quadriga required all its customers to go through KYC procedures. Given that this looks like it has been going for months, with no cold wallets in existence and the owner just constantly skimming funds off for himself, it was quite possibly he has used some of these KYC documents to open accounts at other exchanges under other people's names and use them to cash out all the stolen coins. Doubly concerning for anyone who has lost their money on the exchange.

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February 06, 2019, 07:55:52 AM
 #8

LMAO. With the exchange founder's sudden death, it couldn't have been a more perfect excuse to exit scam. Maybe they were already having liquidity problems and see the death as a perfect excuse. Like come on, who doesn't store backups for millions of dollars.


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February 06, 2019, 10:39:15 AM
 #9

LMAO. With the exchange founder's sudden death, it couldn't have been a more perfect excuse to exit scam. Maybe they were already having liquidity problems and see the death as a perfect excuse. Like come on, who doesn't store backups for millions of dollars.

LMAO, this is turning like a circus act and as the story deepens, more and more information surfaces that may lead that indeed this was a exit scam pulled out by the founder of the company. Yeah, liquidity problems but he don't want to get busted, so he carefully plot something and come up with a perfect excuse - death, LOL.

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February 06, 2019, 10:54:57 AM
 #10

On the point of not using smaller exchanges - that's a matter of preference. I actually thought guys like Quadriga and Cryptopia ought to be applauded for trying to go neck to neck with the big guns. Don't for a moment believe that it's only the big guys who practise good security (you remember Mt Gox of course). If anything, a smaller group of people with enough technical knowledge and commitment to do good, will be the ones practising proper security measures.

On the note of exit scam, I won't dismiss it. Death in December and only outed now? And an exchange only leaving everything in the hands of a CEO? Surely this can't be how even the most unprofessional firms operate? Totally agree with figmentofmyass: exit scamming looking so, so tempting. Especially when there aren't repercussions.

Now if the exchange were insured, like all Japanese licenced ones are... we're seeing a first use case for insured exchanges.

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February 06, 2019, 11:47:35 AM
 #11

I read this story yesterday and TBH I'm not surprised, this exchange
isn't the first and certainly wont be the last.

As a lot of people have pulled out of crypto, particularly newbies who
god burned last year there are a lot of exchanges trying to service
a substantially reduced amount of business and some have to be hurting
like o_e_l_e_o states above.

Insuring and licencing exchanges does give more user protection but
we also need to recognise that we are trusting others with our funds
and certain degrees of regulation can actually help.
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February 06, 2019, 12:11:49 PM
 #12

[...]

This is a story that poses another great challenge to the crypto world:

- how can the exchange users protect themselves in the event that the exchanges owners die?


Gerald Cotten, the recently deceased CEO of major Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, had filed a will 12 days before his death, Bloomberg writes Tuesday, Feb. 5.

According to the documents obtained by Bloomberg, Cotten signed his last will and testament on Nov. 27, 2018. He mentioned his wife, Jennifer Robertson, as the only beneficiary and the executor to his estate.

Bloomberg has learned that Robertson will inherit several properties in Nova Scotia, where the couple lived, and in Kelowna, British Columbia, as well as a Lexus, a Jeanneau 51 yacht, an airplane and his two pet chihuahuas.

CEO of Canadian Crypto Exchange QuadrigaCX Filed Will 12 Days Before Death

if he did, then he knew he was going to die, so why did not he also take steps to ensure that his clients would not be harmed by his death?

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February 06, 2019, 01:01:19 PM
 #13

I'm not familiar with QuadrigaCX until it was on the news with  some bad exposee that the owner was totally dead.
Me either, because it's not popular in the forum, most people are using the top volume exchanges.

I don't have 100% source that the owner is totally dead. I have read some comments that it truly might be an exit scam and they haven't  shown an actual proof that guy was caught dead.
It should be a big explaining to do by the team if the founder is not really dead.
And I don't think they will risk themselves covering this possible crime and face jail time in the future, and when the address
can be identified, I think anyone can monitor that and if there's any movement, it could make them liable.

I hope that this case wouldn't be the same as Mt.Gox. It's a lot of money that they have locked and why on Earth they didn't used multisig wallet?

Now, it's not a lot compared to the past scams as this market had experience some significant growth.

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February 06, 2019, 02:44:57 PM
 #14

Now if the exchange were insured, like all Japanese licenced ones are... we're seeing a first use case for insured exchanges.

I honestly wouldn't put much thought or hope into that, because insurers are out to do one specific thing, which is making sure that they don't have to cough up any sort of amount, or in the worst case scenario, an amount that's far below that what exchanges are insured for.

We're not talking about a couple of thousand dollars here, but dozens of millions, and in some cases even hundreds of millions. With how one exchange goes bust after the other, I'm not sure how willing insurers are to dig deep into their pockets.

I hope that we're not going to see another hack/scam, but if history repeats, and I strongly believe it will repeat, we'll see how these insured exchanges will respond to that situation.

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February 06, 2019, 05:04:23 PM
Merited by nutildah (1)
 #15

~
CEO of Canadian Crypto Exchange QuadrigaCX Filed Will 12 Days Before Death

if he did, then he knew he was going to die, so why did not he also take steps to ensure that his clients would not be harmed by his death?

Those were my thoughts too when I was reading the article on Bloomberg. It indeed looks like suspicious behavior.

Regarding whether he actually died or not, of course we can't be 100% sure, but here's what is said in the Jennifer Robertson Affidavit uploaded by Coindesk to scribd:



Source: https://www.scribd.com/document/398721572/Jennifer-Robertson-Affidavit

After researching a bit more I found the Death Certificate shown on various news sites:



I think people from India can enlighten us on whether it's easy or not to fake such things in the country.

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February 06, 2019, 05:52:54 PM
 #16


Regarding whether he actually died or not, of course we can't be 100% sure, but here's what is said in the Jennifer Robertson Affidavit uploaded by Coindesk to scribd:

She's obviously lying. If he really submitted his will a week before his actual death there's high probability they were talking about death with his wife and that he told her about private keys.
I think they are blaming it on the dead man because it can't hurt him in his grave and taking all the money.

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February 06, 2019, 06:14:42 PM
 #17

I think people from India can enlighten us on whether it's easy or not to fake such things in the country.

Many Indians are broke. Fat Westerners are not. India is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. One study said 92% of Indians have had bribes demanded at some point from public servants. If he'd carked it in Switzerland it would be rather more convincing.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Want-a-fake-death-certificate/articleshow/3218280.cms

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February 06, 2019, 10:27:22 PM
 #18

The registration of his death appears on the Indian Governments official website, so we can say at least that the certificate is not photoshopped or similar. As gentlemand pointed out though, India is overrun with corruption, and it would not be that difficult to pay off a hospital employee or two to fill in the paperwork and register a death that never happened.

Very suspicious that his last name is spelt wrong on the death certificate. "Cottan" instead of "Cotten". Maybe suggests it was done without him ever registering at the hospital as a patient, which would have resulted in his ID being checked, and instead has been done verbally? Regardless, if this is the death certificate they are using, then legally speaking, Gerald Cotten is not dead. Someone called Gerald Cottan is.

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February 07, 2019, 04:09:40 AM
 #19

why on Earth they didn't used multisig wallet?

There are a lot of stories, one of them said that Quadriga did in fact used a multisig wallet. But it doesn't matter if they don't have the money in the first place. Lots of people are starting to do their own chain analysis to find out where exactly does Quadriga store their money. Everything related to Cryptocapital sounds very shady now.
Oh that's what some other stories about this incident. I guess some of the evidence are going to come out few days from now. And base on the facts that has been gathered by the posts above looks like some shady activities were part of this incident.


 
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February 07, 2019, 04:11:00 AM
 #20

~
CEO of Canadian Crypto Exchange QuadrigaCX Filed Will 12 Days Before Death

if he did, then he knew he was going to die, so why did not he also take steps to ensure that his clients would not be harmed by his death?

Those were my thoughts too when I was reading the article on Bloomberg. It indeed looks like suspicious behavior.

Regarding whether he actually died or not, of course we can't be 100% sure, but here's what is said in the Jennifer Robertson Affidavit uploaded by Coindesk to scribd:



Source: https://www.scribd.com/document/398721572/Jennifer-Robertson-Affidavit

After researching a bit more I found the Death Certificate shown on various news sites:



I think people from India can enlighten us on whether it's easy or not to fake such things in the country.

I reckon it might be. Also may he rest in peace. However, how very convenient for Gerald Cotten of dying in a region very well known for having a fake death mafia if this was proven not to be an exit scam.

https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/06/ceo-who-held-150m-in-crypto-died-in-a-region-known-for-having-a-fake-death-mafia/

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