It would be great if the crypto space had some kind of a modern-day blockchain-focused Sherlock Holmes…
As you probably already know, back in December 2019, Gerald W. Cotten, the founder and CEO of Vancouver-based crytocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX , reportedly died in India due to complications from Crohn’s Disease, and it was claimed that he was the only person who had the private keys to the wallets holding around $147 million worth of crypto that the exchange was holding for its clients.
His widow, Jennifer Robertson, filed on January 31st an affidavit at the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, which said that the exchange owed its customers around $190 in fiat and crypto (70 million Canadian dollars in fiat and 180 million Canadian dollars in crypto). As of the date of this filing, there were 115,000 affected users (i.e. users who had non-zero balances in their accounts), and as of January 18th, the exchange recorded the following crypto balances:
- 26,488 BTC
- 11,378 BCH
- 11,149 BSV
- 35,230 BTG
- 199,888 LTC
- 429,966 ETH
On Thursday (February 28th), cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced that it wanted to “bring awareness and attention to this case” so that hopefully it can “help discover some or all of the missing client funds.” So, what it wants people to do is to listen to episode 3 and episode 4 of its “How to Grow a Decacorn” podcast, and then it wants anyone who either knows “where the missing client funds are” or knows “anyone who may know something that can help law enforcement locate the funds” to let Kraken know so that it can contact law enforcement authorities.
Kraken says that it is offering rewards totaling $100,000 (to be paid in fiat or crypto) for “the tip(s) that best lead to the discovery of the missing $190 million US dollars.” But the strange thing is that it thinks $190 million in crypto is missing when in fact the total amount of crypto that is missing is around $147 million.
Here are the important terms of this offer:
“Kraken is offering this reward for information leading to significant progress or discovery of all or some of the missing client funds. It is up to our sole discretion which tips warrant a reward, if any. The total of all rewards will not exceed $100,000 USD. Kraken may end this reward program at any point in time. All leads collected by Kraken will be provided to the FBI, RCMP or other law enforcement authorities, who have an active interest in this case.”
Ealier today, Alex Firmani, the CTO at Hyperlink Capital, made an interesting observation:
By offering $100k for info on Quadriga's crypto, @KrakenFX has told us that Quadriga's account on Kraken is EMPTY. @jespow can see QCX's balance. If it had 1000s of ETH, he'd assume the rest is on other exchanges and not offer bounty to find it. @tayvano_
— Alex Firmani (@AlexFirmani) March 1, 2019
Taylor Monahan, Founder & CEO of MyCrypto agreed with his assessment:
I would concur.
— Taylor Monahan (@tayvano_) March 1, 2019
Even more interestingly, one of the people who liked Firmani’s tweet was Jesse Powell, Co-Founder and CEO of Kraken.
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