Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Vancouver based QuadrigaCX still locked out of $180M in stored cryptocurrency

Vancouver based QuadrigaCX still locked out of $180M in stored cryptocurrency

As the mystery deepens around the death of Gerald Cotten, CEO of Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Quadriga CX, new details have emerged leading to speculation and allegations. The client claims to be owed about $560,000 from Quadriga - "one of the largest individual affected users" - according to the affidavit filed in a Halifax court on February 5.

QuadrigaCX, the Canadian crypto exchange, fell into a quagmire after the death of its CEO Gerald Cotten which left $215 million user funds trapped in his laptop.

According to Bloomberg Brian Kladko, a spokesman for the British Columbia Securities Commission, revealed the agency now has no indications QuadrigaCX was "operating as a marketplace or exchange under British Columbia securities laws". According to the alert, even if a platform calls itself an exchange, it may not be trading or selling securities.

Robertson, in an affidavit filed January 31, said she was not involved in the business, and she insisted Cotten - as QuadrigaCX's CEO and sole director - was the only person with access to the private digital keys.

The Canadian Securities Administrators, an umbrella group, published an investor alert last June urging Canadians to be cautious when considering buying crypto assets through trading platforms.

The same concerns have also been expressed from within the exchange's user community, with some unconvinced with the story behind Cotten's death. He left all his assets to his wife, Jennifer Robertson, and made her the executor to his estate, the documents show.

Earlier, CCN reported that the exchange filed for creditor protection in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to give it time to get back its financial footing following the loss of its cold wallets. However, later a death certificate, issued by the Government of Rajasthan's Directorate of Economics and Statistics, was unveiled, which stated that Gerald William Cotten died on December 9.

Fortis Escorts hospital in Jaipur issued a statement on Thursday confirming that Mr Cotten was admitted on December 8, 2018, and that he died from a cardiac arrest the next night.

They said he had complained of watery stools, vomiting, crampy abdominal pain, and was feeling feverish.

"Gerry died due to complications with Crohn's disease on December 9, 2018 while travelling in India, where he was opening an orphanage to provide a home and safe refuge for children in need", the post said.

He is also said to have been an advisor for Crypto Consortium and served as a Director of the Vancouver Bitcoin Co- Op.

The next day after being declared dead, police in Jaipur handed Robertson a no objection certificate - a document allowing the collection and transportation of a body - allowing her to fly Cotton's body to Nova Scotia, Canada. Cryptocurrency exchanges are not now regulated, but CSA is working on a plan.

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