QuadrigaCX, the Canadian crypto exchange that collapsed after the death of its CEO and founder late last year, has just $21 million in assets, but owes creditors $160 million, its court-appointed monitor and trustee said.
The latest report by Ernst and Young (EY), which is dated May 1 but appears to have been published in the last few days, outlines three legal entities affiliated with the exchange – Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp., Whiteside Capital Corporation and 0984750 B.C. Ltd., each of which is presented as its own bankrupt firm.
As a result, each entity has its own list of assets and liabilities, even though they overlap. As of April 12:Quadriga Fintech Solutions had $254,180 CAD ($189,345 USD) and owed $214,873,113 CAD ($160,051,461 USD); Whiteside Capital Corporation had no assets and owed $214,618,937 CAD ($159,875,011 USD); and 0984750 B.C. had $28,649,542 CAD ($21,343,192 USD) and owed $215,697,147 CAD ($160,688,982 USD).
“There is a material discrepancy between the reported fiat and cryptocurrency obligations” due to the fact that there were different estates, creditors and known assets, wrote George Kinsman, the EY employee acting as the monitor and trustee.
Kinsman also cited shoddy bookkeeping as an issue EY faced when pulling together these numbers.
Where’s the money?
Stepping back, Quadriga entered a civil rehabilitation process at the end of January, when Jennifer Robertson, the widow of Quadriga founder Gerald Cotten, wrote in an affidavit that the exchange was unable to access its cold, or offline, crypto wallets following his death.
EY was unable to locate any cryptocurrencies in the cold wallet addresses listed by Quadriga, however, aside from 103 bitcoin accidentally transferred from a hot wallet.
Addressing EY’s efforts to locate Quadriga’s missing funds in this week’s report, Kinsman wrote:
“A complete and fulsome review of Quadriga’s financial affairs will take considerable time and effort to pursue and may not be possible or cost effective to complete given the lack of available information, the volume of transactions processed and the number of [third-party payment processors] and crypto currency exchanges involved, many of whom to date, have not fully cooperated with the Monitor’s investigation.”
EY also holds about $500,000 in cryptocurrency recovered from Quadriga’s hot, or online, wallets “and various other sources.” Broken down, EY holds 61 bitcoin, 33 bitcoin cash, 2,661 bitcoin gold, 851 litecoin and 960 ether. The report did not address what progress, if any, EY has made in locating the exchange’s other missing cryptos.
While Robertson initially estimated that the exchange may have as many as 115,000 creditors, Kinsman wrote in the new report that Miller Thomson, the court-appointed representative counsel for the exchange’s users, had presented an omnibus proof of claim for 76,319.
Miller Thomson also presented the $214,618,928 CAD figure that is being used to calculate liabilities.
In addition to Quadriga’s users, Robertson is listed as a secured creditor, and is owed $300,000 CAD ($223,500 USD) based on her costs in starting the civil rehabilitation process, though Kinsman said he expects this claim to be challenged.
Costodian, a payment processor for Quadriga, has also claimed $774,214 CAD ($577,200) in processing fees, though this claim has yet to be resolved in court.
Kinsman also addressed the estate of Cotten and Robertson. In a previous report, he noted that it appeared corporate funds may have been used to purchase personal goods, and EY agreed to an asset preservation order with Robertson’s attorneys to prevent the liquidation of any assets.
In this week’s report, Kinsman noted that while the order is in effect, “for the purpose of the Quadriga Statement of Affairs the Quadriga Estate has valued this possible asset category at $1,” a placeholder figure that indicates the exchange may have more than just the $21 million in assets that were already listed.
While the assets in the estate have not been appraised, “the preserving parties” have told Kinsman that they approximate $12 million CAD (about $9 million USD), meaning they still would be insufficient to fill the hole Quadriga finds itself in.
Nova Scotia Supreme Court image by Nikhilesh De for CoinDesk