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QuadrigaCX: A history of suspicious activity
This is a compilation of everything suspicious I found with Quadriga. Please let me know if there’s anything incorrect or missing Early History (2013-2017)
QuadrigaCX started in 2013 and made history by being the first crypto exchange to register with FINTRAC and accept gold bullion deposits. By 2015, Quadriga became Canada’s largest crypto exchange. So far, so good.
In March 2015, Quadriga attempted to go public and a month later, announced its intention to install Bitcoin ATMs across Canada. Both these plans were eventually aborted.
Even though Quadriga never listed, it started selling its shares over-the-counter. In Sep 2015, Quadriga stopped publishing audits. In March 2016, Quadriga was banned from selling shares after the BCSC issued a cease trade order (CTO) for not submitting an audit.
Around the same time, 3 of Quadriga’s 5 directors (Anthony Milewski, Lovie Horner, Bill Filtness) and CFO (Natasha Tsai) all resigned. Sometime in 2016, Director and Co-founder Michael Patryn resigned. This left Gerald Cotten ("Gerry") as the only remaining director.
Evidence shows that Michael Patryn has used several aliases (including Omar Dhanani) and is a convicted identity thief
Quadriga has changed its business address several times. It started as a Vancouver-based exchange, with its addresses changing from Commercial Dr, Nelson St, and Homer St. Eventually, the address moved to Toronto. None of these were physical office addresses, but instead a mail forwarding address.
The Terms of Service on Quadriga’s website have always suspiciously stated that:
All account fundings are considered to be purchases of QuadrigaCX Bucks. These are units that are used for the purposes of purchasing Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. QuadrigaCX Bucks are NOT Canadian Dollars. Any notation of $, CAD, or USD refers to an equivalent unit in QuadrigaCX Bucks, which exist for the sole purpose of buying and selling Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. QuadrigaCX is NOT a financial institution, bank, credit union, trust, or deposit business. We DO NOT take Deposits. We exist solely for the purposes of buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
Banking troubles throughout 2018
In late Dec 2017, Jose Reyes (CEO of Billerfy and Costodian Inc, Quadriga’s payment processor) moved over a million dollars from Quadriga’s account and into his own personal CIBC account
Shortly after, CIBC froze these funds and tried reaching out to Gerry, who refused to speak with them
All throughout 2018, Quadriga’s fiat withdrawal times took 2-3 months to complete. Quadriga kept citing the CIBC freeze as the reason. What’s very suspicious is how Quadriga constantly lied to customers with promises such as “the withdrawal backlog will be cleared in 1 week” or “your funds have been processed” when in fact they were months away from doing so.
Period leading up to Gerry’s death
On Nov 27, Gerry filed his will just 12 days before his death. He left a plane, two houses, and $100,000 for the care of his two Chihuahuas.
Gerry had a plan for all his personal affairs in the event of his death but he had no contingency plan for $180M CAD of crypto in cold storage that only he had the private keys to?
India is a suspicious place to travel, considering Gerry had a medical condition and considering how easy it is to get a death certificate there
After a severe bear market, most crypto businesses have been struggling and laying off staff. It’s odd that Gerry, who has no history of philanthropy, chooses to donate money. Especially when his exchange is having so many banking troubles.
The organization that built the orphanage states on their website that they take care of all construction. There was zero need for Gerry to go to India
A reddit post shows that the orphanage exists, although it’s a mystery where the image came from
Bitcoin fell 50% in Nov – the worst monthly decline in 7 years. Gerry’s death occurred shortly after
Gerry’s death and announcement
On Dec 9, Gerry died in India “due to complications of Crohn’s disease.” However, there is a low probability that Crohn’s disease is fatal, especially at the young age of 30
Just a couple days later, a reddit post indicated someone bought 300 BTC on Quadriga at a 25% premium and moved the funds out of the exchange
It took Quadriga over a month to announce Gerry’s death on Jan 14th.
Over the following 2 weeks, Quadriga continued to assure customers that “our hot wallets are being filled and withdrawals are going slower but will complete.”
On Jan 28th, Quadriga takes down their website. Initially they said “an upgrade is being performed,” then the message changed to “site maintenance” before being changed to “Quadriga has filed for creditor protection” on Jan 31st.
In the media, Gerry stated several times that Quadriga uses multi-sig cold storage. This is where 2/3 or 3/5 people can be used to authorize a transaction. Clearly no multisig was used if only Gerry had the private keys.
Formal Active Investigations
A preliminary court hearing was held on Feb 5, 2019 where the Canadian Apex Court appointed Ernst and Young (EY) as Monitor to further investigate into the matter. EY has stated that its an extraordinary challenge to decipher Quadriga's finances, as the company has no accounting records (and did not systematically track incoming and outgoing payments) nor a bank account in its name.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB), which gives Quadriga an F-rating, launched an investigation in Dec 2018
Quadriga has substantial personal information on its customers, including SIN, driver's license, and banking details. Given Quadriga's murky history, customers may have their identity at risk and should setup up credit report and identity theft alerts with either Equifax or TransUnion.
Bitcoin ATMs – A Beginner’s Guide. By: Ofir Beigel Last updated: 5/4/20 Bitcoin ATMs allow the purchase and sale of Bitcoin with cash and with relative anonymity.In this post, I’ll cover the different ATMs around, their pros and cons and also show you how to find a Bitcoin ATM near your home. Bitcoin ATMs generally sell bitcoins at a mark-up of 5-10%. This markup is the price people are willing to pay for the privacy that Bitcoin ATMs provide. Before you buy bitcoin from an ATM, check the ATM’s price against a Bitcoin price index like our Bitcoin price page. Introduction; No Verification or ID Exchanges; Buy Bitcoin with Credit ... Some Bitcoin ATMs offer bi-directional functionality enabling both the purchase of Bitcoin as well as the sale of Bitcoin for cash. In some cases, Bitcoin ATM providers require users to have an existing account to transact on the machine. There are two main types of Bitcoin machines: cash kiosks and ATMs. Both types are connected to the Internet, allowing bitcoin atm in brazil cash or debit ... How exactly does a bitcoin atm work ? We all know btc transaction times can vary greatly, someone walk me through what it's like to get cash for btc from an atm . ADOPTION. I posted this question as a comment in that thread about the btc atm at the music festival but didn't get any succinct answers. With transaction times varying so wildly, how does it work? Of course I can imagine several ... …phone scam to convince people to pay money into bitcoin ATM, they pretend your social security ID has been stolen and used in crime and that you need to secure your money to prevent it being stolen. Get you to go your bank, take out all your money and then direct you to nearest bitcoin ATM and pay in all your cash. – June 26, 2020 Another way to buy Bitcoins anonymously with cash is to go to your nearest Bitcoin ATM and buy Bitcoins from the ATM using cash. Buying Bitcoins via an ATM is probably the best way to go about buying Bitcoins anonymously however not everyone has an ATM next to them. When asked to enter your Bitcoin address at the ATM just specify that you don’t have one – in most cases, this will just ... Binance.US looks to be far more limited than regular Binance, with only Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Tether trading available to start. Further, Binance.US will require identification information to sign up in order to comply with regulations. VPN would likely not help when KYC scans a Texas ID. Binance.us is now 100% KYC. Continue this thread View entire discussion ( 13 comments) More posts from the binance community. 87. Posted by 21 hours ago. Binance Burns $68M USD of BNB for Q3 2020! 87. 17 comments. share. save. hide. report. 66. Posted by 5 days ago. Binance Ecosystem. General. 66. 9 comments. share. save. hide. report. 38 ... LocalBitcoins lets you buy Bitcoin without verifying ID, but only up to 1,000 euros or equivalent per year. It does not let you sell Bitcoin without verifying identity. Paxful does not require ID verification for account creation, but requires verification for accounts that reach the equivalent of US$1,500 in trade volume or wallet activity.
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