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QuadrigaCX Crypto Exchange Could Soon Be Placed in Bankruptcy


Nikhilesh De

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Ernst and Young (EY), the court-appointed monitor for collapsed Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, has proposed transitioning the company from a restructuring process to bankruptcy proceedings.

In a new report posted Tuesday, EY said that the exchange’s creditors “will benefit” from converting its current restructuring process under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to a new one under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA).

“Transitioning from the CCAA to the BIA will streamline the administration of the proceedings, reduce the level of professional involvement and provide enhanced investigative powers for the Trustee,” the company said, adding:

“As set out in previous reports of the Monitor, the current objective of these CCAA proceedings is data and asset recovery. Given the present circumstances, the possibility that Quadriga will restructure and emerge from CCAA protection appears remote.”

EY’s work to recover Quadriga’s holdings can still occur under the BIA.

There are a number of benefits to moving for bankruptcy, EY said, including allowing Quadriga to sell any valuable assets, reducing governance issues by removing the need for a chief restructuring officer or directors, allowing representative counsel to continue to participate and giving the exchange’s trustee “additional investigatory powers” without requiring court orders.

Bankruptcy is also likely to be cost-effective, EY says, though it explained that one of the cost reductions would come from no longer having to update the court on the exchange’s efforts to recover funds.

“It would remain available to the Trustee to provide reports to Affected Users during the bankruptcy,” the report says.

Wrapping up

In its report, EY indicated that its research into Quadriga’s missing funds might be nearing an end. It plans to file a final report in the next few weeks, which would update the court on what progress it has made, though Tuesday’s filing did not provide any clarity on the exchange’s missing cryptos.

The report did go discuss a number of third-party payment processors holding fiat currencies on Quadriga’s behalf. Some, including VoPay, have confirmed that they are holding funds but may require court orders to return them.

Others, like WebBank 21, which recently rebranded to Black Banx, have not responded to EY, according to the report. Black Banx is holding roughly $9 million CAD ($6.7 million USD) that belongs to Quadriga.

Perhaps more notably, one payment processor which conducted business with Quadriga is operated by Jennifer Robertson, the widow of Quadriga founder Gerald Cotten. However, the firm, Robertson Nova Consulting Inc., claims to not be holding any funds on the exchange’s behalf.

“Counsel for Ms. Robertson also indicated that Ms. Robertson would work to obtain final statements from the financial institutions that held accounts for RNCI and would provide them to the Monitor once available,” EY said.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court image by Nikhilesh De for CoinDesk