The QuadrigaCX timeline: as it happened

06 Feb, 2019 | Updated: 07 Feb, 2019
by Richard Allen
The QuadrigaCX timeline: as it happened

QuadrigaCX had been built up to become Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Things took a turn for the worst when the exchange’s co-founder and CEO died during a trip to India, which led to the loss of $190 million worth of cryptocurrency. Below is the timeline detailing the events and when they happened.

January 14 – Gerald Cotten’s death is announced

On or around January 14, Gerald Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson announced that Cotten had died in a statement that read:

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sudden passing of Gerald Cotten, co-founder and CEO of QuadrigaCX. A visionary leader who transformed the lives of those around him, Gerry died due to complications with Crohn’s disease on December 9, 2018, while traveling in India, where he was opening an orphanage to provide a home and safe refuge for children in need.”

January 16 – user complains about long Bitcoin withdrawal time

A Quadriga customer complained on Twitter that his Bitcoin withdrawal had been pending for 24 hours. Quadriga replied with:

January 29 – Quadriga goes offline

The exchange unexpectedly goes offline. According to a statement on the website, it was due to unannounced system maintenance upgrades. Reddit began suspecting an exit scam.

Read more: Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX goes offline, Reddit screams 'Exit Scam'

January 31 – Quadriga files for creditor protection

After many more complaints, Quadriga’s site goes blank with a statement that confirms bankruptcy proceedings had begun followed by an affidavit that showed the exchange had also filed for consumer protection. Robertson stated that, “After Gerry’s death, Quadriga’s inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost.”

Read more: QuadrigaCX: Can't access cold storage, filing for creditor protection

According to Robertson, Cotten was the custodian of 26,500 Bitcoin, 11,000 Bitcoin Cash, 11,000 Bitcoin Cash SV, 25,000 Bitcoin Gold, around 430,000 ETH, and roughly 200,000 Litecoin. After Cotten’s death, access to these funds allegedly became impossible as knowledge of where the private keys are died with Cotten.  The exchange owes its customers $190 million.

Read more: Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX owes $190 million to customers

February 3 – Twitter users begin investigation into Quadriga

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, as well as Twitter user going by the handle ProofofResearch, begin investigating Quadriga’s transaction history using data sent by the community. Their first discovery was a potential connection between Quadriga and Mt. Gox. A cluster of address transactions from Gox enters the same cluster wallet as several Quadriga transactions.

Then its discovered that between May 2018 and December 2018, Quadriga liquidated $12.7 million worth of Bitcoin with no explanation.

Read more: Quadriga: Twitter user finds the exchange liquidated $12.7 million BTC

Upon concluding the investigation, ProofofResearch found that Quadriga never lost access to its hot BTC wallet and that they probably lied about having cold wallet reserves. After analyzing the wallet explorer for addresses linked to Quadriga, it was found that "there are several outgoing transactions that have been made since the alleged date of Gerald Cotten’s passing," which casts doubt on the claim that it was Cotten’s death that prevented access to customer funds.

Read more: QuadrigaCX never lost access to hot BTC wallet, according to in-depth report

February 4 – a petition emerges appealing to Kraken to take over Quadriga

A petition on started by Crypto Trader appeals to Kraken to take over Quadriga.

“This is a petition to Jesse Powell and Kraken to buy out Quadriga, honor it's users funds and to take over control of the Quadriga exchange,” the petition reads. So far it has received 27 signatures out of 100.

Read more: Petition appeals to Kraken exchange to take over QuadrigaCX

February 5 –Quadriga co-founder used a fake name

It’s discovered that Quadriga co-founder Michael Patryn is somebody else entirely. Reports have stated that his real name is Omar Dhanani, a convicted criminal charged with fraud for his role in operating an online marketplace for identity theft. He was released in 2007.

Read more: QuadrigaCX co-founder was using a fake name? Previously convicted for fraud

February 5 – Quadriga’s court hearing

After its first day in court, presiding judge Wood granted the exchange its requested 30-day  creditor protection, giving the exchange some time to restructure its financial situation. The ruling has given the exchange an opportunity to avoid bankruptcy and will hopefully allow its many creditors some form of payment.

During the hearing, Quadriga’s lawyers claimed that there is a chance that there may be as much as $180 million worth of cryptocurrencies “floating around out there” that they haven’t found yet. The lawyers were hopeful that they would be able to locate the funds, but stated that its only likely to happen “far into the future.”

Read more: 5 conclusions of the QuadrigaCX hearing

February 6 – the discovery of Cotten’s death certificate

CoinDesk got their hands on Gerald Cotten’s death certificate which states he died on December 9, 2018, confirming the statement made by his widow Jennifer Robertson. Though this confirmation does little to help the cause for Quadriga’s missing funds.

Read more: Looking for QuadrigaCX CEO's death certificate? Here it is

February 7 - Indian hospital descibes Cotten's death

According to a spokesperson for Fortis Escorts hospital, where Cotten passed away, "The patient died here in Fortis and was brought in an extremely critical condition."

Reports state that Cotten was brought into the hopsital on December 8, 2018 at around 9:45 PM. Due to his hostory with Crohn's disease, Cotten was on monoclonal antibody therapy. The hospital diagnosed Cotten with septic shock, perforation peritonitis, and intestinal obstruction.

His conditioned progessively worsened. The press release states that "At 2:45 pm, Cotton suffered a cardiac arrest but was revived by CPR. He also suffered two subsequent episodes of ventricular tachycardia (fast heart rhythm) for which cardioversion was conducted." He then suffered a second cardiac arrest, but could not be resuscitated. He was declared dead at approximately 7:26 PM on December 9.

While the story is not quite over yet, it doesn’t look as if it will be a happy ending.

This timeline will be updated when new events occur. 

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