February 4 – 10, 2019 | Canadian Custody, Crypto Funds & More Crypto News

North iQ Weekly Newsletter is curated to provide insights on digital asset industry developments, market announcements, and performance analysis.

Controversy Behind Canadian Crypto Exchange QuadrigaCX Raises More Questions About Cryptoasset Custody

February 4 – A major Canadian cryptocurrency exchange based in Vancouver, QuadrigaCX, says it can’t retrieve about $190 million CAD worth of bitcoin, ether, litecoin and other tokens that it holds for its customers after one of its founders, Gerald Cotten, had reportedly passed away in India. According to recent court documents filed in Halifax, access to QuadrigaCX’s cold-storage wallets had been lost after Cotten passed away on December 9, 2018 in India after suffering from complications arising from Crohn’s disease. Speculations regarding his death have come in droves on Reddit since hundreds of customers now have no way of withdrawing their cryptocurrencies from the exchange. Some Reddit users have claimed that Cotten may be faking his death, and may still be alive, as he had filed his will just ten days before the death was reported. In an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson, Cotten was very conscious about security, noting that his laptop, email address, and messaging system he had used to run QuadrigaCX were all encrypted, and only he had access to the exchange’s cold-storage wallets. Cotten was also the only one responsible for the funds, coins, keys, banking, and accounting of the exchange. At the time of writing, QuadrigaCX has since barred public entry into their exchange, hosting a simple landing page on their website that asks the Nova Scotia court for creditor protection while the exchange attempts to address “significant financial issues”.

“For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues, which include attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us,” said QuadrigaCX. “Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful.”

Read the full article here.

Note from 3iQ:

3iQ Corp has long emphasized the need for regulated and secure cryptoasset custodians, and has never had affiliations with QuadrigaCX, nor ANY executives or directors affiliated with the exchange. Given its lack of historical regulatory oversight, 3iQ Corp had determined that selecting QuadrigaCX as a custody provider for the 3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund was not in the best interest of the Portfolio Manager, Shareholders, or Unitholders of the fund.

“Regulated investment fund managers in Canada are required to conduct thorough due diligence on potential custodians to protect Canadian investors. Unlike QuadrigaCX, the keys to our cold-storage wallets are held by a trusted custodian that is regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) after passing a comprehensive review of anti-money laundering, capitalization, consumer protection and cybersecurity policies. Custody is key, and we believe we have done the hard work to argue that there is a better way for Canadians to invest in cryptoassets,” said Fred Pye, the President and CEO of 3iQ Corp.

Comparing Crypto Hedge Funds Vs. Venture Funds

February 2 – Placeholder, a crypto venture capital partnership which is based in New York City with over $150 million USD under management, has released a new article which compares and contrasts crypto hedge funds to crypto-based venture funds. The article seeks to provide clarity on how both crypto hedge funds and venture capital funds operate, particularly in regards to how they structure financings and how they operate in different stages of the market. According to the author of the article, Joel Monegro, crypto hedge funds use a “liquid fund structure”, meaning that investors in the fund typically have the rights to withdraw capital after certain lockup periods and other requirements are met. Often, the assets under management (AUM) of these crypto hedge funds would fluctuate over time, as people who have a stake in the fund may redeem their investments, or new people looking to invest would subscribe. Crypto hedge funds are often under pressure to “maximize performance in the short-term”, as if the fund underperforms during a given time period, the management fee and income of the business are significantly hindered, particularly when the AUM drops. Unlike hedge funds, crypto-based venture funds typically use a “committed capital” structure, meaning that investors cannot redeem their investments at will like they can with hedge funds.

“The effect of these differences is that hedge fund managers have a greater incentive to maximize short-term profits, as they can be severely affected if the fund underperforms in any given period, while VCs are incentivized to maximize long-term, realized value in order to increase their payout. And this is reflected in how each type seeks profits: in general, hedge funds will tend to trade around market fluctuations, while venture funds tend to build and hold investments to optimize for long-term value,” said Monegro.

Read the full article here.

SEC’s Robert Jackson Jr. Confirms That a Bitcoin ETF Will Pass Regulator Approval “Eventually”

February 6 – In a recent interview, Robert J. Jackson Jr., a commissioner at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), confirmed that an ETF based on cryptocurrency will get approved through the agency as soon as this year, despite the agency denying previous submissions. The commissioner expects at least one applicant will meet the requirements that the SEC has outlined sometime in 2019. Back in January 2018, the SEC had asked for 14 separate crypto-based ETF submissions to be pulled, citing issues around manipulation and surveillance, in addition to other factors for rejection. “I’m happy to say market participants have begun to come in with ideas,” Jackson said. “Whether or not we’re going to find one that really protects investors I don’t know, but I do know that that case wasn’t especially close”.

However, the SEC’s rejection of these crypto-based ETF applications encouraged other applicants to respond to the agency with ideas on how to meet their expectations. “Getting the stamp of approval from the deepest and most liquid capital markets in the world is hard, and it should be,” Jackson said. “Once we put the stamp of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on an investment, once we make it available to everyday mom and pop investors, we are taking risks that Americans can get hurt.”

Read the full article here.

Credit Suisse Utilizes Blockchain for Processing Cross-Border Fund Trades

February 7 – A subsidiary of Credit Suisse has reportedly completed a test for fund transactions using only the blockchain to help quicken transaction times and keep them secure. Credit Suisse is a major investment bank based in Zurich, Switzerland that has its operations spread across many major financial hubs in the world. The fund distribution division of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Fundsquare, announced the success of the trial in a blog post on February 7. Credit Suisse Asset Management used the blockchain-based trading system to process several trades that occurred cross-border. According to Portugal’s Banco Best and Fundsquare, the trial was a success, and showed that cross-border distribution of fund trades over the blockchain was “more efficient, scalable and timely in processing”.

“Our goal is to collaborate with major players from the fund industry so as to capitalize on the benefits that blockchain technology brings. We are delighted to see a Portuguese innovative bank linking with Credit Suisse Asset Management and test our platform to explore the value that this new infrastructure can deliver. FundsDLT is an international initiative that streamlines a number of activities within the fund distribution value chain, and as a consequence, will reduce costs for the benefits of investors across fund and investor domiciles”, said Olivier Portenseigne of Fundsquare.

Read the full article here.

Previously Bearish Analyst Now Predicts a Comeback in Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

February 6 – Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, an analyst at the major investment bank JP Morgan, notes that other major financial firms who he once thought were losing interest in cryptocurrencies has re-iterated his call, and believes they are now beginning to see renewed interest in cryptocurrencies. Back in December 15, Panigirtzoglou stated that participation by financial institutions in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin trading were fading; however, in a recent interview on CNBC last week, he states that the situation is likely temporary. Panigirtzoglou believes that firms are beginning to show renewed interest as the cryptocurrency industry is beginning to stabilize.

In particular, Panigirtzoglou sees that more implementation of blockchain across traditional financial services will help spur interest for cryptocurrencies that utilize the technology. “The stability that we are seeing right now in the cryptocurrency market is setting the stage for more participation by institutional investors in the future,” said Panigirtzoglou. “The cryptocurrency market was a new market. It went through a bubble phase [and] the burst.”

Read the full article here.

3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund: Price as at February 7, 2019

3iQ is the first regulator approved multi-cryptoasset portfolio manager in Canada, providing accredited investors with exposure to bitcoin, ether, and litecoin through its 3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund

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This Weekly Cryptoasset Newsletter is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, either explicitly or implicitly, any provision of services or products by 3iQ Corp (“3iQ”). Investors should determine for themselves whether a particular service or product is suitable for their investment needs or should seek such professional advice for their particular situation.3iQ Corp. makes no representation or warranty to any investor regarding the legality of any investment, the income or tax consequences, or the suitability of an investment for such investor. All content is original and has been researched and produced by 3iQ unless otherwise stated therein. No part of the content may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without the express written permission of 3iQ. All statements made regarding companies, securities or other financial information contained in the content or articles relating to 3iQ are strictly beliefs and points of view held by 3iQ and are not endorsements of any company or security or recommendations to buy or sell any security. No securities regulatory authority has expressed an opinion about these securities and it is an offence to claim otherwise. By visiting and/or otherwise using the 3iQ website in any way, you indicate that you understand and accept the terms of use as set forth on the website and agree to be bound by them. If you do not agree to the terms of use of the website, please do no access the website or any pages thereof. Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship by or affiliation with 3iQ with respect to any linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by 3iQ. Any such information, products or sites have not necessarily been reviewed by 3iQ and are provided or maintained by third parties over whom 3iQ exercises no control. 3iQ expressly disclaims any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information, and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites. The information contained herein, while obtained from sources believed to be reliable, is not guaranteed as to its accuracy or completeness and confers no right on purchasers. Past performance of cryptoassets is not indicative of future performance and should not be used to forecast any return that an investor may realize.

Fred Pye

Frederick T. Pye


Frederick T. Pye is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Director of 3iQ Corp. He is also the Chairman and Director of 3iQ Digital Holdings Inc. Mr. Pye is recognized for creating and promoting creative and unique investment products for the investment industry.

Mr. Pye has managed private client portfolios with Landry Investment Management and various other investment dealers. Prior to this Mr. Pye was Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Argentum Management and Research Corporation, a company dedicated to managing and distributing quantitative investment portfolios including the first long-short mutual fund in Canada.

He was also Senior Vice-President and National Sales Manager of Fidelity Investments Canada and an integral part of the team that saw assets rise from $80 million to over $7.5 billion in assets under management during his tenure. He also held various positions with Guardian Trust Company, which listed the first Gold, Silver and Platinum Certificates on the Montreal Exchange.

Mr. Pye obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Concordia University.