Posted In:

Crypto, DeFi, Thelma

The Exit Scam To End All Exit Scams


Feb 08, 2019


Posted In:

Crypto, DeFi, Thelma


Feb 08, 2019



If you were looking to make off with $190m of cryptocurrency, would you be willing to fake your own death?

That’s just what many in the crypto community think happened with Gerald Cotten, the 30 year-old founder of Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX who was reported to have passed away from Crohn’s disease while in India. While the particulars around Cotton’s alleged death are still murky, movements from QuadrigaCX’s wallets and lengthy customer withdrawal delays leading up to the event indicate that it may be a well-orchestrated exit scam.

The story also sheds a spotlight on proper personal key management in the digital asset space, where Cotten was the only individual who controlled the “private keys” to Quadrangle’s “cold storage.” In laymen’s terms, Gerard was the only individual who had the ability and knowledge to access the exchange’s customers funds. Most exchanges and institutional investors implement multi-signature wallets as a precaution, ensuring that other individuals can unlock the funds in the case of unforeseen occurrences.

In light of the bizarre QuadrigaCX fiasco, we want to remind all those who hold digital assets with third parties of the crypto adage “not your keys, not your coins”….you don’t wan’t to find out the hard way!


The most innovative fintech companies in 2019 - Congratulations to portfolio companies Axoni and Plaid for being highlighted in the Forbes "FinTech 50" for 2019! It appears the big fintech startups are getting bigger, with 19 of the 50 now valued at $1b or more. Read more

Plaid And Quovo just scratching the surface with data aggregation - Forbes highlights the bright future ahead for portfolio company Plaid after its recent acquisition of Quovo. Plaid and Quovo are refreshing the way data is accessed and analyzed across financial services. Read more

Close more opportunity zone deals with CRE tech - Portfolio company Reonomy is highlighted as an important part of the CRE tech stack for investors interested in Opportunity Zones. Read more


Funds were moving from QuadrigaCX right before its collapse - Coindesk highlights some bizarre activity around QuadrigaCX as it looks to follow the crypto trail prior to the exchange founder's death. Read more

Canada's biggest cryptocurrency exchange can't access $190m in crypto holdings - The biggest news in crypto this week is the sudden death of QuadrigaCX's 30 year old founder, leaving 115k clients unable to retrieve $190m in funds as the founder was the only one who controlled the private keys. Read more


Visa trumps Mastercard fintech offer - Visa International trumped Mastercard’s £233m offer for a small British fintech with a £247m counter-bid, in a battle likened to two walruses squabbling over a shrimp! Read more

Wirecard: inside an accounting scandal - The FTs "Big Read" this week starts by explaining how a jovial 33-year-old Indonesian accountant for the global payments group Wirecard called half a dozen colleagues into a Singapore meeting room, picked up a whiteboard pen, and began to teach his colleagues how to "cook the books." Read more

JPMorgan Chase plans to take on rivals PayPal and Stripe - Chase hopes to increase its share of the global treasury services market by almost 50% in the “next few years” by merging its business-to-business treasury services unit with its consumer-to-business merchant services division. Read more

NAB’s bloodbath shows the value of contrition - Suspects are always told to put on a smart suit and a humble manner for a court appearance. It’s not so different for bankers facing public inquiries. That’s certainly the conclusion you’d draw from the bloodbath at the top of National Australia Bank. Read more

The UK's FCA guidance on cryptoassets - The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has begun the process of defining which cryptoassets it will be regulating by opening a consultation on the "small but growing market,” which poses "substantial risks to consumers." Read more

Crypto fever is over, the Paris Fintech Summit shows - According to Bloomberg, the prevailing vibe at the Paris fintech summit was that there’s plenty of action in banking, lending and payments without messing around with crypto. Read more

This upstart brokerage inspired by Charles Schwab is changing the way Brazil invests - Bloomberg details the rise of XP Investimentos, now the leading retail brokerage in Brazil. The company was most recently valued at $4b and is adding 50k clients per month. Read more

Kraken acquires futures startup in deal worth at least $100m - San Francisco based cryptocurrency exchange services provider, Kraken, has acquired FCA regulated crypto futures provider, Crypto Facilities, as it looks to expand its firepower in Europe, plus allow its customers to trade spot and 24-hour regulated cash settled futures all in one unified interface. Read more


Bink - UK based loyalty platform raised a $13m Series B led by Barclays. Read more

Bud - London based B2B open banking startup has raised a $20m Series B led by HSBC and Goldman Sachs. Read more

Dharma Labs - San Francisco based protocol for decentralized lending has raised $7m in Series A financing led by Green Visor, with participation from Coinbase, Polychain, YC, Passport Capital, Blockchange, and Ripple's Xpring fund. Read more

Jetty - New York based renters insurance platform has raised a $25m Series B led Khosla Ventures. Read more

Oaknorth - U.K. based SME lending and banking platform raised a $440m venture financing at a $2.8b post-money valuation from Softbank’s Vision Fund. Read more

Personal Capital - SF based wealth management platform has raised a $50m Series F led by IGM Financial. Read more

Raisin - Berlin based deposits marketplace has raised $114m in Series D funding from Paypal, Index, and Ribbit. Read more

TinkSweden based open banking platform has raised a €56m venture financing from Insight Venture Partners. Read more


FinTech Collective Newsletter

Curated News with Context

Delivered every Monday, the weekly newsletter, produced by our team, provides a tightly edited rundown of global fintech news, along with a bit of our original analysis.