As the creator of the exchange died in 2018, it was presumed that the wallets were inaccessible because he was the sole person responsible for the private keys to the wallets and the only one who had those keys.
After many years of dormancy it was revealed that five accounts associated with the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX were suddenly exchanging approximately $1.7 million of Bitcoin. This discovery disproves the theory that these wallets didn’t exist before.
ZachXBT, a cryptocurrency researcher, issued a tweet warning the cryptocurrency community on December 19. The message was focused on five wallets that transferred around 104 bitcoin to other wallets.
According to the blockchain information, the wallets have not transferred any Bitcoin since April 2018.
QuadrigaCX, the former most well-known bitcoin exchange in Canada, lost its CEO Gerald Cotten in December 2018. Gerald Cotten died. The exchange did announce, however, that it would be seeking bankruptcy protection in April 2019. Cotten was the only person who knew the private keys of the wallets used in the exchange.
It was estimated that approximately 155,000 clients owed almost $200 million in cryptocurrencies at the time it failed.
According to a report that was published in February 2019 by Ernst & Young, one of the Big Four accounting firms that was overseeing the exchange’s estate, on February 6, 2019, QuadrigaCX made an accidental transfer of approximately 103 BTC to cold wallets that were only accessible to the deceased Cotten.
The total value is very close to the amount of the latest Bitcoin transaction volume.