In a series of transactions sent from the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX, more than 9,000 ETH was sent to accounts at Binance, Bitfinex, Kraken and Poloniex, and this during a short period of a few days before QuadrigaCX founder and CEO Gerald Cotten, reportedly died in India.
According to a CoinDesk review of public blockchain data, nearly $1 million worth of ETH left QuadrigaCX in the same month as its founder and CEO died.
5,000 ETH was transferred out of QuadrigaCX from Dec. 2 to Dec. 8, the day before the recorded death in India of the QuadrigaCX founder.
Further according to the review, it was discovered that most of the ether sent that week ended up at Binance.
Due to the exchange’s growing troubles, the crypto community started to take a closer look at the flow of funds, however, it is unclear if these transactions were initiated by the exchange itself, or by its customers.
One explanation could be that the large December transfers was sent by QuadrigaCX itself, as it needed to convert crypto to fiat to fund its operations.
Taylor Monahan, founder and CEO of the wallet startup MyCrypto, said that all exchanges at one point need cash.
'Whether that is server bills or contractors, at some point you need cash', he said.
'If you have a strained relationship with your banking partners, you may choose to obtain fiat via another mechanism. So it wouldn’t surprise me if an exchange used an OTC desk or another exchange in the space in order to move ETH or BTC into fiat and ultimately pay bills.'
However, both Binance and Poloniex weren’t dealing with fiat money at the time of these transactions, so these transfers wouldn't explain the need for cash to pay the bills.
5/ ...but two of the exchanges that received the ETH from QCX did not handle fiat at the time, so this explanation only goes so far.— CoinDesk (@coindesk) February 8, 2019
None of the exchanges who were on the receiving end of these possible suspicious transactions, have responded to this recent news.
Many can't shake the feeling that Gerard Cotten is still alive. The attorney Jake Chervinsky is also one of the many people who suspect that Cotten may still be alive, and predicts a huge search operation led by asset recovery lawyers if this indeed turns out to be true.
The QuadrigaEX situation is high drama. 👀— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) February 7, 2019
If Gerald Cotten is dead & the exchange's keys are unrecoverable, the only question is if he had other assets that the bankruptcy estate can go after.
If he's alive, get ready for an international manhunt led by asset recovery lawyers.