The curious case of Gerry Cotton and Quadriga CX scandal

March 31, 2022 08:16 PM AEDT | By Manu Shankar
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Gerald William Cotton, aka Gerry Cotton, was dubbed the next crypto king in the 2013-14 period. An enigmatic personality was one of the rising crypto stars that everyone would have liked to emulate. With his partner Michael Patryn he started one of Canada's biggest crypto exchanges called Quadriga CX. Quadriga boasted of crypto assets which included the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.  

Quadriga was set up in 2013, and they set up their Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver in January 2014. Such was the growth that their business hit the ground running right from the first month itself, with approximately C$7.4 million being transacted on the platform in 2014. Slowly the customer base grew, and the boy-faced CEO climbed up the popularity charts of crypto enthusiasts. 

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Untimely death and suspicions 

The 30-year-old crypto nova, who was on his honeymoon in India, died suddenly due to a septic shock. Cotton was suffering from a medical condition known as Crohn's disease; many eyebrows were raised in the manner he dropped dead on his honeymoon. What was even more surprising was how the death certificate was issued and how doctors were in a hurry to fix his body without an autopsy.

Another suspicion raised was that Cotton signed his will just nine days before his demise. His death resulted in investors losing close to US$215 million as only he had the passwords to the accounts. 

Several investors even suggested that he faked his death to ensure that he didn't have to return the money. Quadriga eventually had to suspend its trading account and filed for bankruptcy later that year.

Also read: 3 biggest DeFi hacks that have rocked the crypto world

Conspiracy theories got further fuel when the official website of Quadriga went offline in 2019. Additionally, Patryn checkered past in Ponzi schemes and various scams further fuelled the theory that the firm was running a Ponzi scheme.  

Netflix explores Cotton and the suspected Ponzi scheme

Now, Netflix has come up with its unique version in a new series called Trust No One: The Hunt For the Crypto King, the series delves into Cotton's rise in the crypto world and his shocking demise. This is perhaps the first time since his death that Quadriga investors have come on a common platform to express what they felt was the story behind Cotton's death and Quadriga's Ponzi scheme. 

The show gives another insight to the fact how fickle the cryptocurrency market can be and how it can be manipulated by various events. Although in this case, no one could have predicted Cotton’s suspicious death, but in general, it’s crucial that one do their market research, before entering the crypto market.

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