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CoinDesk Live: 2019's Most Catastrophic Crypto Caper

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 users whole?

Listen on:

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 a couple 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's been so many twists and turns, and there still remains mystery, 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 that held the keys to some $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 that Cotten had also mismanaged client funds in many, many ways.

It's been a little over a year since Cotten's death was reported, setting off a whirlwind investigation, and 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 MtGox 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?
  • $40 million CAD has been retrieved. Where does that money go and how will they recover the rest?

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.