Once touted as Canada’s largest crypto exchange, QuadrigaCX has increasingly been making headlines in the last few weeks across multiple major news outlet all over the world following the alleged passing of the platform’s founder Gerald Cotten, leaving over 115,000 users locked out of their funds, with Cotten being the only custodian of the digital wallets in which the crypto assets are purportedly stored.
While almost all investors have sustained massive losses, others have purportedly lost all of their life savings following the debacle. Among which includes thirty-something Canadian software engineer Tong Zou.
In a Bloomberg report published February 9, Zou, who has recently repatriated to Vancouver after working on a number of development projects, including BitTorrent, Walmart, and Spiget, claimed that he has previously withdrawn over $400,000 of his savings from his accounts from U.S. financial institutions, invested it in Bitcoin, and subsequently transferred the digital assets to Canadian crypto trading platforms for future liquidation, including QuadrigaCX.
As with the case of most novice crypto investors, Zou was particularly drawn to the Vancouver-based exchange where he deposited the majority of his Bitcoin holdings, liquidating the cryptocurrency for roughly $560,000 CAD.
Subsequently, Zou issued a withdrawal request for the funds which were intended to be used as a deposit on a property in the area. However, QuadrigaCX was unable to facilitate the withdrawal of the aforementioned funds, leaving Zou hanging for months, along with the majority of other disgruntled QuadrigaCX clients.
As Zou explained:
“I wasn’t using it for trading — I just wanted to move my money over to my Canadian bank account… What I didn’t know was that my withdrawal would be pending or incomplete and it never got deposited in my bank account. I’ve been waiting four months so far.”
While reports have been circulating indicating that other investors have so far successfully withdrawn their funds, Zou’s funds have not been recovered to date following the platform’s inadvertent termination of its crypto trading operations, sparking a slew of class action suits, with most investors including Zou now legally represented by Bennet Jones LLP and McInnes Cooper.
While the QuadrigaCX fiasco has since led most users to suspect foul play, blockchain research unit Elementus recently surmised that the Canadian crypto exchange’s cold storage likely never held 430,000 Ethereum (ETH) from the get-go, while others speculated that QuadrigaCX never even stored $100 million in Bitcoin either.