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QuadrigaCX funds transfer: Is there a dead CEO on the block

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  • Five wallets moved over a million dollars’ worth of Bitcoin from QuadrigaCX
  • Theorists believed that the exchange’s so-called dead CEO was behind the transfer

After being dormant for years, five wallets connected to the now-defunct Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX were exchanged for almost $1.7 million worth of Bitcoin [BTC] on 17 December.

This information came to light via crypto researcher ZachXBT, who noted that the wallets had sent roughly 104 Bitcoin to corresponding addresses on 17 December. Additionally, the wallets had not sent Bitcoin since April 2018, according to blockchain records.

Gerald Cotten, the company’s founder and CEO, died in December 2018. Furthermore, he was the only person in charge of the private keys to the exchange’s wallets. Thus, QuadrigaCX, one of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, declared bankruptcy in April 2019.

Details on the funds moved

The wallets transferred money on Friday, 16 December, and Saturday, 17 December. Over 69 BTC ($1.1 million) were sent to a Bitcoin wallet called Wasabi.

The person in charge of transferring the money remained unknown at press time. A study was issued in February 2019 by Ernst & Young (EY), one of the Big Four accounting firms in charge of the exchange’s estate.

It stated that on 6 February, 2019, QuadrigaCX unintentionally transferred roughly 103 BTC to cold wallets. These wallets could only be accessed by the deceased Cotten. The company had announced that it would work to get the Bitcoin out of the cold wallets.

However, EY denied that it had any role in the transfers according to a statement made by the bankruptcy committee for QuadrigaCX. While the inspectors were “aware Quadriga funds have moved,” EY was silent on the subject.

The collapse of QuadrigaCX led to conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories claimed that the founder of QuadrigaCX faked his death as part of an illegal exit scheme. Furthermore, this was considered his strange death and the subsequent collapse of the exchange.

Years before he passed away, in 2014, Cotten stated on a podcast that printing private keys and keeping them offline in a safe deposit box was the best method to maintain them. Furthermore, this revealed that the exchange had kept its private keys offline in the business’s safe deposit box at a bank.

Cotten’s feigned death, according to many theorists, raised the remote probability that he was behind the transfer.


Saman Waris works as a News Editor at AMBCrypto. She has always been fascinated by how the tides of finance and technology shape communities across demographics. Cryptocurrencies are of particular interest to Saman, with much of her writing centered around understanding how ideas like Momentum and Greater Fool theories apply to altcoins, specifically, memecoins. A graduate in history, Saman worked the sports beat before diving into crypto. Prior to joining AMBCrypto 2 years ago, Saman was a News Editor at Sportskeeda. This was preceded by her stint as Editor-in-Chief at EssentiallySports.
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