Bitcoin cold wallets thought to contain millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency associated with QuadrigaCX, the exchange mired in mystery since its founder Gerald Cotten allegedly died, have finally been uncovered… and they’re empty. The discovery will come as a huge blow to those who lost funds when the exchange ceased operations a month ago and raises big questions about QuadrigaCX’s version of events.
Wallets Emptied in April 2018
The discovery of the wallets and their present state was announced in court-appointed monitor EY’s third report since taking over the case, which was published late last week. In it, they printed the six addresses now known to be those of the exchange’s cold wallets, analysis of which reveals a total of some 104 BTC held across five of them. However, this amount represents the sum that was inadvertently transferred at the start of February and can therefore be discounted in connection with the initial investigation. With this in mind, the bulk of the last activity on the wallets dates back to April 2018 when five of the six were completely emptied of their funds and remained untouched for almost a year.
According to EY, the sixth wallet “appears to have been used to receive bitcoin from another cryptocurrency exchange account and subsequently transfer the bitcoin to the Quadriga hot wallet”. This lack of liquidity explains why QuadrigaCX had problems honoring customer withdrawals later in 2018.
Skepticism Builds Over QuadrigaCX’s Version of Events
As well as identifying these six addresses, to which they still don’t have access, EY has identified another three cold wallet addresses potentially used by Quadriga and has begun similar analysis, despite also containing no coins. The activity present on the wallets merely adds fuel to the fire that an elaborate exit scam is being played out before the community’s eyes, a fire that has been burning since suspicions were aroused regarding Cotten’s alleged death and have only been exacerbated by what has been revealed since.
Even respected figures in the cryptocurrency world, such as Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, whose company is offering $100,000 for information leading to reclamation of the funds, have asserted their beliefs that the story isn’t as straightforward as the facts initially suggested. At this point no one has the faintest idea where this will end, or even what will come to light next, but we can be sure that there are plenty more twists and turns on the way to uncovering the truth, presuming that we do.