The QuadrigaCX case has taken a number of strange twists and turns since co-founder Gerald Cotten’s death in December turned the exchange into a media sideshow. We summarize the events that have taken place in the past three months and where we stand now.
June 2 – A smart contract error leaves 67,317 customer ETH stuck in a hot wallet, worth $14.7 million at the time. QuadrigaCX says it will honor this, despite the liability being worth $90 million just six months later.
- January – Users begin complaining about withdrawals being delayed or not honored
- January – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) freezes $20 million of QuadrigaCX funds held by Costodian, Inc., its payment processor, saying it cannot determine the source of the funds. A court case is scheduled for later in the year to determine ownership.
- June-September – QuadrigaCX makes, and repeats, claims that the “Canadian banking cartel” are the reason behind the withdrawal problems.
- October – Cotton and Robertson marry (exact date unknown)
- November 27 – Gerald Cotten writes new will, naming Robertson as executor
- December 3 – QuadrigaCX wins case against CIBC. $20 million is released back to them.
- December 9 – Gerald Cotten dies on honeymoon in Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur, India
- December 21 – Jennifer Robertson applies to execute Cotten’s will, ensuring protection of his assets from potential creditors
- January 14 – Robertson announces Cotten’s death. Quadriga goes offline days later.
- January 31 – Robertson signs an affidavit stating that Cotton died with the private keys to the exchange’s crypto wallets and computer passwords, meaning the entirety of the exchange’s crypto funds are either lost or inaccessible
- February 6 – QuadrigaCX is granted 30-day creditor protection. EY is appointed monitor.
- February 14 – 103 BTC is inadvertently sent to the inaccessible wallets from the remaining accessible funds within the company
- March 1 – Crypto exchange Kraken offers $100,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the missing coins, alleging criminal activity
- March 5 – The QuadrigaCX wallets are finally accessed, but are found to have been drained a year previously
- March 20 – QuadrigaCX co-founder Michael Patryn is revealed to be convicted fraudster Omar Dhanani
Where Are We Now?
The most recent developments are that a steering committee, made up of QuadrigaCX customers and fronted by two Canadian law firms, has been formed to guide help court-appointed monitor EY in trying to recover the missing funds. Given that Cotten’s assets, including millions of dollars in cash, properties, an aircraft, and a boat, are protected by the execution of his will, the most pressing issue remains to find the missing crypto as it remains the most obvious way of getting creditors’ funds back to them. Until such time as the funds are discovered, or Cotten’s assets are allowed to be liquidated, there remains little hope, at least in the short term, for those who left their money with QuadrigaCX.