Vancouver crypto exchange & CIBC clash in court over frozen crypto accounts

09 Oct, 2018
by Joeri Cant
Vancouver crypto exchange & CIBC clash in court over frozen crypto accounts

QuadrigaCX, Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, based in Vancouver, has been unable to access $28 million of its funds since January 2018, when the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce decided to freeze several accounts belonging to Quadriga’s payment processor.

According to The Globe and Mail, the CIBC says it froze the accounts after it was unable to determine who owns the funds, and therefor had asked the court to take possession of the disputed funds and decide whether they belong to Quadriga, the payment processor, or the 388 people who deposited money into the accounts to buy cryptocurrencies. 

Quadriga claims that the bank was incorrect to freeze the cash and says it is the undisputed owner of the majority of the funds.

'This court should not succumb to the bank’s unsubstantiated and highly offensive speculation that there must be shady dealings afoot because Quadriga’s business is a trading platform for individuals trading in cryptocurrencies' a Quadriga court document reads.

The CIBC declined to comment on this case, which is currently still before the courts. In the summer the case was heard, however, the judge has reserved his decision, according to Quadriga’s lawyer, Margaret Waddell. 

Quadriga alleges that the CIBC 'has been holding the respondents’ funds hostage since January 8, 2018 while it hopelessly attempts to find an ex post facto justification for wrongfully freezing and continuing to freeze the accounts in the first place', further blaming the 'Canadian banking cartel' for the delays some customers are experiencing. 

In an email to its customers, Quadriga said that 'Canadian banks are conspiring to prevent it from transmitting funds from its savings accounts to its operational accounts in a deliberate attempt to stifle bitcoin adoption in the country.'

Canada’s five biggest banks did not comment on the allegations, however, the court case does illustrate the exisiting tension, and a possible legal showdown between the crypto world and the Canadian traditional banking system.

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Read more about: Bitcoin (BTC)

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