Over the past few days, the story of Canadian exchange Quadriga kept the headlines in the crypto space buzzing. After CEO Gerald Cotton had suddenly died in India, $145 million in Bitcoin and other digital assets belonging to users of the exchange he founded suddenly weren’t accessible anymore since he had been the only one who knew the passwords of the cold wallet.
Quadriga lost more than 100 BTC
Things took another dark turn this Tuesday, when court documents revealed that more than 100 BTC had been sent to the late founder’s wallet shortly after his death.
A report filed by the firm appointed to monitor the entire case confirmed that on February 6, Quadriga’s main cold wallet has received a total of 130 Bitcoin, worth around $370,000. At the moment, it is still unknown who undertook the transfer. However, according to Jennifer Robertson, the widow of Gerald Cotton, her late husband was the only one who had access to the company’s assets.
The amount of transferred BTC consisted of more than two thirds of the assets found in Quadriga’s hot wallet and over 50% of the funds considered retrievable. Besides Bitcoin, assets like Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash SV, as well as Bitcoin Gold still exist in Quadriga’s hot wallet.
Unfortunate coincidence or an exit scam?
Of course, this entire story raises a lot of questions in the crypto space, especially after it was found that Gerald Cotton had filed a will just 12 days before his presumed death, leaving all his assets to his wife.
“It could be totally legitimate but it’s such a strange twist of events,” said Michael Gokturk, CEO of crypto exchange Einstein. “In the middle of a massive lawsuit, the guy takes off to India to build an orphanage, it makes no sense. Nothing smells right.”
Just before its founder passed away as the only one able to unlock the digital assets, Quadriga had already been dealing with some legal issues and a plummet in Bitcoin value. Besides this, the fact that a significant amount of cryptocurrency was transferred to the cold wallet right after his death makes it more than obvious that there’s something shady about this.