Ernst & Young, which was appointed as monitor on February 5 when the Nova Scotia Supreme Court granted Quadriga creditor protection, says the company "inadvertently" transferred the bitcoins on February 6 to cold wallets that it is unable to access. If you're not sitting down, I'd find a chair, because against all odds, Gerry Cotten, the exchange's dead owner, just got almost 500,000 Canadian dollars (CAD) richer.
The company previously said it was unable to access the cold wallets because its CEO Gerald Cotten, who died while traveling in Indian in January, was the only one who knew where the private keys were. According to Cotten's widow, only the CEO had access to the laptop in question.
The report says Ernst and Young learned last week that QuadrigaCX was holding $902,743 in bitcoin, litecoin and ether cryptocurrencies in so-called hot wallets, which refers to accounts that are online.
"On February 6, 2019, Quadriga inadvertently transferred 103 bitcoins valued at approximately $468,675 [CAD] to Quadriga cold wallets which the Company is now unable to access". In other words, approximately CAD$468,675 worth of bitcoin was accidentally moved to the inaccessible cold wallet supposedly controlled by the deceased owner.
"[Ernst and Young] is working with management to retrieve this cryptocurrency from the various cold wallets, if possible".
The Canadian court that has placed QuadrigaCX into administration has been handed "two active laptops, two older model laptops, two active cellphones, two dead cellphones and three encrypted USB flash drives", and will also seek to seize a desktop device from Cotten's home office.
These devices are being kept in a safety deposit box EY rented while its forensic group determines the best next steps to try to access them.
"Those 103 bitcoins were essentially thrown into the crypto-equivalent of a black hole, because QuadrigaCX apparently does not have the passwords to the cold wallets", said Nick Chong, head of North America for Quoine, a Japanese company that operates an exchange called Liquid. The very next day, Reutersreported that the Ontario Securities Commission would be "looking into" the QuadrigaCX situation, but whether or not it would turn into a full investigation was unclear.
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