Nearly 17,000 individual claims have been filed for the remaining assets of defunct crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, totaling anywhere from $167 million to more than $300 million depending on how the asset are valued.
According to a document published Tuesday by Quadriga’s bankruptcy monitor, Ernst & Young, over the past year 16,959 proofs of claims have been filed by the exchange’s former users, claiming assets in bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin SV (BSV), bitcoin gold (BTG), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), Canadian dollars (CDN) and U.S. dollars (USD). The totals are based on claims filed through May 6, 2020.
Although EY asked affected users to file claims by Aug. 31 of last year, it acknowledged there was no hard deadline; it continues to receive and process claims, though “the volume of new claim submissions has slowed considerably.”
EY said it would convert all amounts to a Canadian dollar equivalent before distributing, but did not say how it would value the cryptocurrencies.
The firm took over control of QuadrigaCX on Feb. 5, 2019, days after it filed for civil rehabilitation, a form of protection from creditors for firms trying to survive. The Canadian dollar equivalent for the assets at February 2019 prices would be $234 million ($167 million USD). However, if the cryptos are valued at present prices, the total value could be about $431 million CDN ($307 million USD).
Regarding the claims themselves, EY said it had not finished verifying all of the documents it received. Some contain technical deficiencies, meaning they may not be signed or contain some other small error. Other claims showed values that differed from the ones Quadriga had listed in its database, the document said.
The auditor is working to reconcile the differences.
EY has yet to provide a timeline for when users might expect to see their funds returned.
A note written by Miller Thomson, the court-appointed law firm representing Quadriga’s users, said the Canada Revenue Agency, the country’s tax collector, needed to make a claim against the exchange before any funds could be distributed.
“As Quadriga failed to file tax returns in the ordinary course of business, the determination of a Canada Revenue Agency tax claim against Quadriga is necessary prior to the Trustee declaring any distribution to Affected Users or creditors generally, as tax claims rank [on equal footing] with the unsecured claims of Affected Users,” the note said.
It’s unclear how long this would take. While a court has given EY permission to turn over documents to the tax collector, Tuesday’s document said this process had not been completed, and the CRA has not yet begun its audit, EY said.
QuadrigaCX went into bankruptcy last year after its founder and CEO Gerald Cotten, who maintained all of the company’s private keys and systems, was reported dead.
EY, which was tasked with recovering assets, found that Cotten appears to have used customer funds to margin trade small-cap cryptocurrencies and buy personal luxury goods, including a private plane and boats.
Quadriga’s now-former users have been casting doubt as to whether Cotten is indeed dead, and have asked the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to exhume his body. The law enforcement agency has yet to respond to this request.