American cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has announced a $100,000 bounty for information that leads to the successful discovery of QuadrigaCX’s lost cryptocurrency.
According to a blog post published on Feb 28, 2019, all tips reported will be forwarded to law enforcement agencies — including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), among others.
The lost funds amount to roughly $190 million, split across various cryptocurrencies and fiat.
Unsuccessful Recovery Attempts
With the Quadriga recovery reward, Kraken says that its primary aim is to spread awareness and possibly shed more light on the controversial nature of the case.
The saga first unfolded when QuadrigaCX founder Gerald Cotten allegedly passed away while on vacation in India sometime in late 2018. According to an affidavit filed in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court by his widow, Jennifer Robertson, Cotten held sole responsibility for handling Quadriga’s offline cryptocurrency wallets. The exchange only maintained a small amount of cryptocurrency in readily accessible hot wallets. After his demise, Kraken employees were reportedly unable to gain access to Cotten’s cold storage solution.
While the founder’s laptop was recovered following his death, the data stored on it was found to be encrypted and password-protected. According to Robertson, recovery attempts have, so far, been largely unsuccessful. The exchange was subsequently forced to declare insolvency on Feb 7, leaving 115,000 users with no way to withdraw their crypto or fiat balances.
Lost or Stolen?
In its blog post, Kraken recommends potential bounty hunters listen to a couple of podcast episodes that have analyzed the QuadrigaCX situation in depth. While the first episode looks at objective facts surrounding Quadriga’s lack of solvency, the second delves into a slew of subjective conspiracy theories surrounding the event. Given the sudden and unlikely circumstances of Cotten’s death, the podcast’s hosts attempted to ascertain if the exchange’s crypto holdings were actually stolen.
Kraken is inviting partial disclosures that could potentially help advance the case in any meaningful way. However, as is the case with most losses in the cryptocurrency industry, it is unlikely that any new useful information will come to light.
According to a report by Forbes in November 2017, nearly four million BTC has been lost to negligence alone. When theft and scams are accounted for, it is likely that the figure is much higher.
Do you think the bounty will go a long way to help Kraken and law enforcement agencies recover QuadrigaCX’s missing cryptocurrency? Let us know what you think in the comments below! While you’re at it, check out our honest review of Kraken!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.