What Netflixs QuadrigaCX Documentary Gets Right and Wrong About One of Cryptos Worst Scandals

After learning the outline of the story through reporting done on CoinDesk, I listened to Aaron Lammer’s “Exit Scam” podcast series and I found it utterly, completely fascinating. The most interesting part of the film to me was the appearance of Jennifer Robertson’s sister, Kimberly Smith, as this is the first time anyone from her family has spoken at length to the media since the scandal. The addition of a point of view from someone who had known Cotten only in a non-business, family way added a layer that I didn’t see in other coverage, as it was clear that Smith at least believed Cotten and Robertson’s relationship and love were genuine. Gerry suffered from Crohn’s disease and was reported dead the following day from septic shock.

  • Gerald Cotten, the founder of Canada’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX, died unexpectedly due to complications with Crohn’s disease.
  • Cotten, as one interviewee explains, was a notoriously bad trader and managed to gamble away most of QuadrigaCX’s crypto before the market took a turn for the worst in early 2018 and customers started asking for their money back en masse.
  • Dog-lover spends three days in hospital after daughter’s chihuahua ‘Belle’ defecated on her FACE while she…
  • The news came as a shock to everyone and left many questions unanswered.
  • Ms Zegel, the estate lawyer, said the case should be a cautionary tale for those getting invovled with new financial products like crypto that they don’t fully understand.

The film assesses whether or not this claim could be true as well as looking into Gerry’s character, business and those around them to decide if they were involved or not. After concluding that the details didn’t add up, many believe that Gerry faked his death and fled with the money as part of an “exit scam”. A group of Quadriga users raised questions blockchain, cryptocurrency and bitcoin for businesses via the online platform Telegram about the money and the odd circumstances around Gerry’s death. Directed by British documentary and TV director Luke Sewell, the film follows the curious and dangerous world of cryptocurrency. Here’s what the new true crime doc that’s got everyone talking is about and the story behind the new Netflix sensation.


Crypto King follows a recent glut of “conmen” documentaries produced by Netflix, such as The Tinder Swindler, The Puppet Master and The Worst Roommate Ever, all serving as cautionary tales of how manipulators can thrive in the right circumstances. Crypto King shows how someone managed to leverage people’s enthusiasm for Bitcoin and crypto and took advantage of an emerging, unregulated market to defraud users of millions of dollars. Naming Cotten the “Crypto King ” in the title of this film has echoes of Joe Exotic’s “Tiger King” moniker. With Exotic serving a life sentence and Cotten almost certainly dead, Netflix crowning these men as “kings” is almost certainly a tongue-in-cheek jibe. It was bitter irony when it was revealed that Cotten was the only person who could access QuadrigaCX funds, the cold wallet. His widow did not even have the codes of his personal computer, leaving people without their money, including entire life savings for some.

  • While this resulted in a massive boom in people investing in the company,Quadriga CX quickly ran into financial difficulties.
  • Since then UK stocks have been gyrating on fears of an impending recession and concerns over a huge increase in borrowing due to Britain’s new tax cuts and spending plans.
  • But it demonstrated the young man’s ambition and drive to succeed in the world of business.
  • Crypto King, a new Netflix documentary, takes us through the rise and fall of QuadrigaCX and the theories surrounding the death of its founder, who took QuadrigaCX’s private keys with him to the grave.

Cotten’s death came four days after he completed a will, which left all of his assets to his wife, including $9 million in real estate, a Lexus, Cessna plane and yacht. His company kept his death secret for a month, and later declared bankruptcy after Robertson revealed her late how can i buy bitcoin in the uk husband was the only person who had the passwords needed to access investors’ funds. His death came four days after he completed a will, which left all of his assets to his wife, including $9million in real estate, a Lexus, Cessna plane and 50-foot Jeanneau 51 sailboat.

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Dog-lover spends three days in hospital after daughter’s chihuahua ‘Belle’ defecated on her FACE while she… In the end, with her personal finances hopelessly entangled with Cotten’s estate and Quadringa, Robertson reached a settlement to keep pennies on the dollar of her claimed assets, handing the rest over to creditors. ‘Thanks to the posse of reporters, Quadriga creditors, and conspiracy theorists rummaging through the closets of Gerry’s past, I soon began to learn all sorts of things I hadn’t known, and some I hadn’t wanted to know, about Gerald Cotten,’ she wrote. At the time of Cotten’s death, Quadriga CX owed its 76,000 investors approximately $215 million CAD ($168 million at current rates). But Robertson doesn’t see red flags when she looks back at her relationship with Cotten – more.

But for the other 99.98% of people with Netflix subscriptions, it’s a good 90 minutes of entertainment. We are doing this to improve the experience for our loyal readers and we believe it will reduce the ability of trolls and troublemakers, who occasionally find their way onto our site, to abuse our journalists and readers. We also hope it will help the comments section fulfil its promise as a part of Scotland’s conversation with itself. It should have been a safe space for informed debate, somewhere for readers to discuss issues around the biggest stories of the day, but all too often the below the line comments on most websites have become bogged down by off-topic discussions and abuse.

gerald cotten

His body was embalmed and sent back to Canada for a closed-casket funeral. The company did still have access to funds stored in its ‘hot wallet’, an online crypto storage that is more easily accessible but also more vulnerable, although Robertson said that only a small amount of crypto was stored there. In a filing with the Supreme Court in Nova Scotia, Jennifer Robertson, Cotten’s widow, said the exchange owed the sum in a mixture of both crypto and fiat money, but was forced to file for creditor protection as it could not access the storage.

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I do not hold a position in any crypto asset or cryptocurrency or blockchain company. Cotten’s death came after Previous reports found that Cotten was operating a Ponzi scheme. He credited himself with false currency and crypto-asset balances, which he traded with unsuspecting bitcoin backs off record high on reports of india crypto ban clients of QuadrigaCX. Sirer recommends that the sector takes advantage of the mathematical properties of these assets to provide even stronger assurance without costly audits. “In essence, exchanges can prove their solvency through cryptographic mechanisms,” he says.

After living the life of an international elite, she went back to working at an old bar where she was once an employee to put herself through school. People occasionally make off-colour jokes about Gerry and Quadriga, but she’s also gotten a lot of positive messages of support, too. One of Gerry’s claims he liked to tout to burnish his reputation was that he worked with the RCMP and was registered with Canada’s anti-money laundering service, so of course he couldn’t be a crook. But his lies were convincing enough he operated without detection for years under the eyes of regulators, creditors, and even his own wife. Every scammer needs enablers, or at least believers, and Gerald Cotten had plenty.

  • Speaking via Zoom, from her apartment in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Robertson’s voice is full of nervous energy.
  • She began receiving death threats, as people thought she was on in the scheme, which she adamantly denies.
  • The film explores the bizarre story of a Canadian Bitcoin exchange which had $215 million in customer’s cash in its coffers when company founder Gerald Cotten mysteriously died, taking the passwords – and therefore the money – with him.
  • “For the moment, Fortum has sufficient liquid funds to meet current collateral requirements,” Fortum said in a statement on Monday.
  • It may take many more years before we find out the truth and the missing money might never resurface.

Obsessive ex-boyfriend repeatedly deposited cash into his former lover’s bank account using ‘scruffy little… Bradley Cooper, 47, is a hands-on father as he stylishly attends the History Talks event with his daughter Lea, 5, in Washington D.C. ‘Gerry had lost at least $100 million that Ernst and Young had been able to trace so far. Due to Cotten’s will, Robertson inherited his share of the business and became entangled in the legal battles that followed.

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Earlier Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce froze an account controlled by QuadrigaCX with around $25 million. Skeletons came tumbling with the revelation that co-founder Michael Patryn is convicted felon Omar Dhanani, who served time in the U.S. for his role in the Shadow Crew identify theft and credit card fraud ring. Filed Chapter 11 seeking protection from more than 2,600 state and federal lawsuits. It is the essential source of information and ideas that make sense of a world in constant transformation. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design. The breakthroughs and innovations that we uncover lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries.

gerald cotten

On 5 February, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court granted QuadrigaCX protection from its creditors and a 30-day stay of proceedings for the company to find the missing currency and arrange to restructure or sell the business. Some of its clients have threatened Ms Robertson online and also accused the company of lying in an effort to avoid repaying the money. Cryptocurrency exchanges trade on their reputation as being distant from the reaches of formal financial regulators – it’s what attracts many to use them. While that’s a strength when things go well, it’s a fatal weakness if something goes wrong. “It’s one of many reasons people have significant doubts about any cryptocurrency that is not linked to and run or regulated by a traditional financial institution like the Bank of England,” he says. “Exchanges are effectively financial exchanges but they remain unregulated in most jurisdiction,” says Woodward.

If you made up the Quadriga saga as a story about lost pirate treasure, the target audience would have to be about four, because eight year olds wouldn’t buy it. Please update your billing details here to continue enjoying your access to the most informative and considered journalism in the UK. The prominent is Did Cotton dies in India Or was it a classical case of switch situation. The biggest question which the film raises is can a mechanism be set up to take care of situations like the one chronicled in the film.

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A $100,000 bounty has been put up for information that can help find the missing millions, and one researcher, James Edwards, believes he may have found a significant chunk of QuadrigaCX’s funds stored on three other cryptocurrency exchanges. The public didn’t learn about the death for another 36 days, until January 2019. The company didn’t even have an official bank account, processing payments through third parties or Cotten’s own laptop. The Cottens’ home was filled with piles and piles of loose cash, which Gerry claimed was a consequence of supposedly discriminatory banks who didn’t yet understand crypto and refused to work with them. It would also be revealed that the businessman had started scamming people online at age 15, and had ties to Midas Gold, a business linked to a Costa Rican money laundering operation.

His wife said he had promised to create a mechanism that turned the passwords over to her when he died. But Cotten’s name was misspelled on death documents and he’d prepared his will just days before the honeymoon. After his death, Quadriga investors met online to try and put the pieces together.