QuadrigaCX: You know the story. Dead CEO, $190 million of customer’s funds missing, mismanagement, conspiracy. But where are we now in terms of making crypto clients whole? Magdalena Gronowska, who’s a member of the Official Committee of Affected Users and the Bankruptcy Board of Inspectors, says as much as the nondisclosure agreements (NDA) will allow.

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In our CoinDesk Live: Lockdown Edition series, CoinDesk journalists and virtual audience members chat with speakers from Consensus: Distributed, our upcoming virtual conference on May 11-15. 

In this episode, CoinDesk Managing Editor Zack Seward and business reporter Nikhilesh De speak with Magdalena Gronowska, who lost several thousand dollars when Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX imploded. She’s now a member of the Official Committee of Affected Users and the Bankruptcy Board of Inspectors. 

QuadrigaCX is one of the stories in crypto that’ll end up getting made into a movie. There are so many twists and turns, and mystery remains after the exchange’s CEO, Gerald Cotten, unexpectedly died (although some believe he faked his death) on a trip to India in late 2018. He was supposedly the only person who held the keys to some C$250 million (US$190 million) in user funds – a pile of money that has been in dispute ever since. But once Canadian authorities started their  investigation, it became clear Cotten also mismanaged client funds in many, many ways. 

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It’s been a little over a year since Cotten’s death was reported, setting off  a whirlwind investigation. Gronowska gives insight into where the case stands today.  

Topics include:

  • How much it sucks to lose bitcoin when you're trying to stack sats
  • How the Committee of Affected Users operates
  • The role of the Bankruptcy Board of Inspectors
  • The craziest thing QuadrigaCX's now-deceased CEO Gerald Cotten bought with his ill-gotten gains
  • Would you rather be a Mt.Gox creditor or QuadrigaCX creditor? 
  • NDAs: What the committee knows and doesn't know
  • How the crypto community's sleuthing actually helps the case
  • Brass-tacks questions from creditors
  • Not your keys, not your coins
  • Everyone's favorite: regulation, and the silver lining to the QuadrigaCX disaster: Canadians, both the crypto community and the government, thinking harder about crafting appropriate regulations 
  • Another industry where tech, maybe even blockchain tech, could be beneficial: Canada's insolvency system. 
  • What happens next? 
  • Some $40 million CAD has been retrieved. Where does that money go and how will the rest be recovered?

Next up: Sign up to join the next CoinDesk Live on Tuesday, April 28 with Carlos Acevedo, founder of the Crypto Community Project, which is dedicated to educating low-income communities on crypto and blockchain.Acevedo is also the director of sales and the regional lead for Latin America at Brave. 

And then, of course, join us at Consensus: Distributed May 11-15 where Acevedo will be speaking.

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