Posted on

QuadrigaCX’s Legal Representatives Create Affected Users Committee

QuadrigaCX’s legal council has formed a dedicated committee to help provide guidance in representing affected clients of the exchange.

A new committee appointed by law firms Miller Thomson and Cox & Palmer will provide guidance in representing affected clients of major Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX. The development was announced in a court notice on March 19.

In the filing, Miller Thompson reveals that it has established the Official Committee of Affected Users of now-shuttered QuadrigaCX, comprising of seven users affected by the shutdown of the trading platform following the sudden death of its co-founder, Gerald Cotten, last December.

At the time, the exchange reported that it was not able to access its cold wallet holdings, as Cotten had purportedly been the sole person with access to wallets’ keys. With the allegedly inaccessible crypto accounting for the vast majority of the exchange’s assets, QuadrigaCX now owes over $198.4 million to an estimated 115,000 users.

The newly formed committee is set to help the law firms represent all affected users in the court proceedings against QuadrigaCX. The committee can reportedly “retain advisors, experts and consultants to provide advice to and to assist the Official Committee of Affected Users and Representative Council in the exercise of their duties in relation to the Purpose.”

The committee members have varying fields of expertise and include such industry players as Eric Bachour, a creditor of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, and Magdalena Gronowska, who has advisory experience in economic policy development for the Government of Ontario.

Miller Thomson and Cox & Palmer were appointed as QuadrigaCX’s legal representatives in February by a decision rendered by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Justice Michael Wood. The representative council was set to be responsible for “managing communications with users; acting as user liaison for the monitor [Ernst & Young]; advocating for user interests before the court; identify[ing] potential conflicting interest amongst users; and advocating for user privacy.”

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, QuadrigaCX’s co-founder Michael Patryn was reportedly involved in multiple criminal activities in the past. Patryn and his partner, Lovie Horner, remain two of QuadrigaCX’s largest shareholders, although he has not had any involvement in the company’s operations since 2016 due to a fundamental disagreement with Cotten.

Posted on

Cryptopia Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading on 40 Crypto Pairs

New Zealand-based crypto exchange Cryptopia has reopened trading on 40 trade pairs following a mid-January hack.

New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has resumed trading on 40 trade pairs, according to a tweet from the firm on March 18.

In the tweet, the company announces that it has “resumed trading on 40 trade pairs that we have quantified as secure. We will continue to expand this list as we clear more coins.” The update follows the exchange’s recent announcement of the plans to reopen trading on its platform by the end of March, following a $16 million hack in mid-January.

In January, Cryptopia suspended services after detecting a major hack that reportedly “resulted in significant losses.” The platform had initially informed the public it was undergoing unscheduled maintenance, issuing several updates before officially disclosing the breach.

After the initial reports of the hack, further evidence reportedly surfaced that hackers were siphoning crypto out of the exchange as late as two weeks later.

As previously reported, Cryptopia’s co-founder Rob (Hex) Dawson said that the company re-launched its website in read-only form on March 5, however the platform showed the balances as they were at Jan. 14, 2019, the date of the hack. The exchange explained that the website could be used to reset passwords and two-factor authentication credentials, which is also a top priority issue in terms of client support at the current stage.

Hex also specified that users who had lost their cryptocurrencies would start to see a section dubbed “Withdraws on your account for those coins.” He explained that transaction IDs (TXIDs) for the withdraw orders will not exist on the network, but include details on how the coin had been impacted during the event.

Today’s tweet faced a mixed reaction from the community, with some users welcoming the company back and others accusing Cryptopia of trading manipulation:

“Cryptopia manipulate trading at some extent. they open trading with wallet offline and no announcement.”

Another user said:

“what are you talking about? you took my BTC  i saw withdraw history : INTERNAL WITHDRAW: on March 18 2019….. i want my BTC back!!!!!!!”

Posted on

Kraken Expands Its Team With Five New High Level Hires

Crypto exchange Kraken is making a group of new high level appointments, expanding its team by five members.

United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is expanding its team with new high level hires, according to the company’s blog post published on March 7.

In the post, Kraken announced five new appointments to its team. The new appointments will see Matt Mason as Chief Marketing Officer, Steve Hunt as Vice-President of Engineering, Nelson Minier as Head of OTC Sales and Trading, Bob Zagotta as Head of Business Operations and Strategy, and Mary Beth Buchanan as General Counsel.

Prior to joining Kraken, Mason was employed by Sony Pictures as Studio Head at a secretive innovation lab focused on game mechanics. Mason also served as head of marketing and Chief Content Officer at BitTorrent Inc., and has experience in the music and advertising industries.

Hunt has an over 20 years experience in the leading of engineering teams in the construction of algorithmic trading networks across major global financial markets at such companies as Jump Trading and Goldman Sachs. Minier has also a 20 year experience in managing trading desks at such firms as Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, and others.

Zagotta, meanwhile, has experience in developing and launching new businesses. He is joining Kraken from CME Group where he served as Senior Managing Director of Strategy and Execution. Buchanan’s legal career spans over 30 years, having worked at such organizations as Bryan Cave LLP, the United Nations and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Last month, Kraken acquired United Kingdom-based cryptocurrency exchange and futures provider Crypto Facilities, which is fully regulated by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, giving Kraken a major foothold in the European market.

Following the acquisition, trading volumes on Crypto Facilities significantly increased. Sui Chung, head of cryptocurrency pricing products at Crypto Facilities, told Cointelegraph that the company’s average daily trading volume was around $7 million per day in January. However, following the acquisition announcement, it increased to $32 million per day in February, reaching up to $110 million one day that month.

Posted on

Russian Human Rights Commissioner Seeks UN Help to Extradite Alexander Vinnik

The Russian Commissioner for Human Rights has asked the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to help extradite Alexander Vinnik to Russia.

Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights has asked the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to help extradite the former operator of now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik, from Greece to Russia. The news was reported by Russian news outlet TASS on March 5.

At a meeting between commissioners Tatyana Moskalkova and Michelle Bachelet on March 5, Moskalkova reportedly noted that Vinnik has been in critical condition because of the hunger strike he started in November, 2018. Moskalkova also pointed out that Vinnik’s wife is seriously ill and is on the brink of death. The ombudswoman said:

“Given the extraordinary humanitarian situation, I would ask for help extraditing him [Vinnik] to Russia so that he could be closer to his family.”

In late February, Moskalkova called on Greek Justice Minister Michalis Kalogirou to extradite Vinnik to Russia following his deteriorating health and the institution of criminal proceedings against him in Russia.

Moskalkova also sent letters to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, the Greek Health Minister Andreas Xanthos, and the Greek Ombudsman, Andreas Pottakis, asking to provide Vinnik with medical assistance following the hunger strike.

Vinnik was arrested by Greek police in July 2017 at the request of the United States Department of Justice. Authorities accused him of fraud and laundering as much as 300,000 Bitcoin (BTC), (worth $4 billion at the time) over the course of six years.

French authorities also accused Vinnik of “defraud[ing] over 100 people in six French cities between 2016 and 2018.” Russia and France have since both sought the defendant’s extradition in regard to a further series of fraud allegations.

Posted on

Survey: Half of Millennial Investors Trust Crypto Exchanges More Than Stock Exchanges

A new survey from investment platform eToro has revealed that 43 percent of millennial traders trust traditional stock exchanges less than crypto exchanges.

Nearly half of millennial traders have more trust in digital currency exchanges than in United States (U.S.) stock market exchanges. Data regarding millennial investment attitudes was collected in a new study from investment platform eToro and published on Feb. 19.

Per the report, 43 percent of the surveyed millenial online traders demonstrate less trust in the traditional stock market, while having more faith in cryptocurrency exchanges. 93 percent of millennial cryptocurrency traders reportedly said that they would invest more in digital currency if traditional financial institutions proposed such an option. At the same time, 71 percent of millennials that do not trade cryptocurrency said that they would begin if it were offered by conventional institutions.

Managing Director of eToro U.S., Guy Hirsch, said that the market is now witnessing a generation shift in trust from traditional stock exchanges to digital currency ones. “Immutability is native to blockchains and that makes real-time audit to be sensible and cost-effective and that is why millennials and Gen X perceive crypto exchanges as less likely to be subject to manipulation and less likely to be a place where bad actors get rewarded with taxpayer money,” Hirsch explained.

45 percent of the respondents expressed interest in allocating cryptocurrency in their 401(k) retirement savings plans, and 74 percent of digital currency traders would like to receive that option from their 401(k) plan providers.

The research was conducted by market research and strategy firm Provoke Insights on behalf of eToro in September 2018. Throughout the course of the study, the company surveyed 1,000 online investors from ages 20 to 65. The company notes that the margin of error is around 3 percent.

Research published last November revealed that cryptocurrency investing is most popular among millennials earning from $75,000 to $99,999 annually. The survey collected responses from over 1,000 Americans between ages 18 and 80. Almost 40 percent of respondents cited peer influence as a main reason for investing in crypto, and over 35 percent have reportedly been lured into the crypto market by the “Fear of Missing Out.”