Nearly $1 million worth of ether (ETH) left QuadrigaCX and went to other cryptocurrency exchanges in December, the same month its CEO died, a CoinDesk review of public blockchain data shows.
In a series of transactions sent from QuadrigaCX’s hot wallet (meaning one connected to the internet), more than 9,000 ETH moved from the embattled Canadian exchange to accounts at Binance, Bitfinex, Kraken and Poloniex (owned by Circle).
The lion’s share – 5,000 ETH – was transferred from Dec. 2 to Dec. 8 – the day before the recorded death in India of QuadrigaCX founder and CEO Gerald Cotten. Most of the ether sent that week (4,550) ended up at Binance.
It is unclear whether it was the exchange itself that initiated these transactions, its customers, or some combination. But the flows of funds have come under scrutiny in the crypto community because of the company’s growing troubles.
Last week, QuadrigaCX went offline and subsequently filed for creditor protection in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, saying it owes customers $190 million but cannot find its late founder’s private keys to retrieve crypto held in cold storage.
That followed months of customer complaints about withdrawal delays, both for fiat and crypto. But looking at the ethereum blockchain, it is clear that someone was able to move significant amounts of QuadrigaCX as recently as December. (The company did not respond to a request for comment by press time.)
Besides ether, QuadrigaCX also held several other currencies on behalf of customers and users have been trying to identify its wallets on the bitcoin and litecoin blockchains. But ethereum is perhaps the easiest blockchain to follow the money in this case.
That’s because there is an obvious starting point: address 0x027BEEFcBaD782faF69FAD12DeE97Ed894c68549, labeled as QuadrigaCX’s on the block explorer site Etherscan. (It identifies wallets as belonging to specific companies when they re...