The high-profile search for $190 million in missing cryptocurrency owed to users of the beleaguered QuadrigaCX trading platform has turned up a small amount of digital assets, but the intrigue surrounding the case deepened Friday as investigators pointed to a series of transactions they can’t explain. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

The high-profile search for $190 million in missing cryptocurrency owed to users of the beleaguered QuadrigaCX trading platform has turned up a small amount of digital assets, but the intrigue surrounding the case deepened Friday as investigators pointed to a series of transactions they can’t explain. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

Search into missing cryptocurrency from B.C.-based exchange turns up empty ‘cold wallets:’ Report

QuadrigaCX users owed nearly $260 million in cash and crypto-coins

The high-profile search for $190 million in missing cryptocurrency owed to users of the beleaguered QuadrigaCX trading platform has turned up a small amount of digital assets, but the intrigue surrounding the case deepened Friday as investigators pointed to a series of transactions they can’t explain.

A report released late Friday by court-appointed monitor Ernst and Young, which is overseeing the creditor protection process for the insolvent trading platform, offered few answers for the firm’s users — owed nearly $260 million in cash and crypto-coins.

READ MORE: Okanagan Kelowna connection to dead cryptocurrency exchange CEO

The monitor’s third report indicated six so-called cold wallets used to store digital assets offline have been found, but all of them are empty.

The report said there have been no deposits since April in five of those wallets — besides one recent inadvertent transfer — while a sixth wallet appears to have been used more recently, the report said.

The monitor said QuadrigaCX and its affiliated companies were unable to explain why the cold wallets haven’t been used in several months.

“The applicants have been unable to identify a reason why Quadriga may have stopped using the identified bitcoin cold wallets for deposits in April 2018,” George Kinsman, senior vice-president with Ernst and Young, said in the report.

“However, the monitor and management will continue to review the Quadriga database to obtain further information.”

Meanwhile, the monitor confirmed it had also became aware of three other potential cold wallets, but they were also empty.

The monitor also found 14 user accounts on the QuadrigaCX platform that were “created outside the normal process,” using a number of aliases.

More importantly, the accounts were created internally “without a corresponding customers and used to trade on the Quadriga platform,” the monitor reported.

“The monitor was further advised that deposits into certain of the … accounts may have been artificially created and subsequently used for trading on the Quadriga platform.”

Transaction data indicates there was a significant volume of activity associated with these accounts, including withdrawals of cryptocurrency to wallet addresses not associated with Quadriga, the report says.

The monitor said it remains unclear how the accounts were used and whether the recipients of the withdrawals can be identified.

Meanwhile, the monitor has been trying to secure data from the trading platform that includes information about account balances and transactions. That information is stored in the cloud with Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), but the monitor has not been able to gain access to that data because the contract was in the name of the company’s late co-founder, Gerald Cotten.

Court documents say Cotten had sole control of encrypted passcodes required to gain access to the company’s offline digital assets.

“AWS has indicated that it is unable to provide the monitor with access to the AWS account to permit a copy of the data … to be secured,” the monitor said, adding that consent from Cotten’s widow, Jennifer Robertson, was not enough for Amazon.

As a result, the monitor plans to ask Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Michael Wood to step in.

Brett Bundale and Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

(Pixhere photo)
B.C. dentists argue for COVID-19 vaccine priority after ‘disappointing’ exclusion from plan

Vaccines are essential for dentists as patients cannot wear masks during treatment, argues BCDA

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

Most Read