The Hunt for the Crypto King: Where is Gerry Cotten now? Is he really dead?

Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King. Photograph of Gerald Cotten. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King. Photograph of Gerald Cotten. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Netflix just released their latest true crime documentary Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King, detailing the rise and fall of cryptocurrency exchange Quadriga Fintech Solutions and founder Gerald “Gerry” Cotten. Gerry Cotten is believed to have orchestrated a massive investment scam, one that left people wondering if Gerry faked his death and disappeared with millions of dollars in consumer funds.

Below we’ll dig into exactly who Gerry Cotten was, what he did with the money, where he is now and whether or not Gerry is actually dead. If you haven’t watched The Hunt for the Crypto King yet, make sure you add it to your Netflix watchlist!

Who was Gerry Cotten, the Crypto King?

Gerald “Gerry” Cotten was initially believed to be a savvy entrepreneur who found success when he founded Quadriga Fintech Solutions (QuadrigaCX) in 2013, a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange. Over time, Quadriga became increasingly popular until it evolved into Canada’s largest crypto exchange as it helped legitimatize Bitcoin at a time when crypto was becoming increasingly mainstream.

But in 2018, Bitcoin prices started to decline and ultimately crashed. People panicked and started trying to withdraw their funds from Quadriga, only to be met with delayed processing times and error messages. It soon became apparent that something was amiss with Quadriga. In early 2019, the website stopped functioning altogether.

Even more strange, it was revealed that Gerry had died under somewhat mysterious circumstances. Furious users banded together in an online forum to investigate the company and descend into a dark rabbit hole on a chase for the “Crypto King” as theorists started to believe Gerry had faked his death as part of an “exit scam” and stolen hundreds of millions of consumer funds.

Where is Gerry Cotten now?

As far as we know, Gerry is dead. There’s not much else to say regarding his exact whereabouts unless you believe the theories that Gerry somehow faked his death and absconded with the money. It’s not a bad theory since The Hunt for the Crypto King indicates that Gerry had some grand plans for what to do with the money had he not died.

Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King
Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Is Gerry Cotten really dead?

Given what the documentary tells us, it sounds like Gerry is really dead despite what online sleuths and conspiracy theorists might believe. Some of the reasons people believed he faked his death is that the funeral was closed casket, people don’t typically die from Crohn’s disease and a death certificate circulated with Gerry’s name misspelled. None of these are enough to prove Gerry faked his death and as for the certificate, I’m not even sure that was a real document.

Documentary subject Nathan Vanderklippe, a Globe and Mail journalist, traveled to Gerry’s last known location in India to talk to the doctor on call at the time, Dr. Sharma.

More. Where is Gerry’s wife Jennifer Robertson now?. light

According to Dr. Sharma, Gerry came in because of vomiting and diarrhea. That, coupled with his background of Crohn’s disease, led to the doctors keeping him overnight despite believing he was just suffering from a case of traveler’s diarrhea. Most cases of Crohn’s are not deadly; it’s very rare to die from the disease, which is part of why people thought Gerry was faking his death.

However, Dr. Sharma goes into more detail on exactly what happened: Gerry became fulminant and went into cardiac arrest three times the next day. The doctors were able to resuscitate him the first two times but not the third.

Of course, some people will not believe Gerry is dead unless they see a body, and even then they might demand DNA testing and even then they might still think the entire thing was faked—or that he disappeared with the money to Bermuda and met with a plastic surgeon who gave him a new face. But for all intents and purposes, it sounds like Gerry is definitely dead.

Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King
Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King. Photograph of Gerald Cotten. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

What did Gerry Cotten do with all the money?

Even if Gerry did not fake his death and escape, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t still operating a criminal enterprise. The journalists, sleuths and Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) determined that Gerry orchestrated a large-scale scam. Even worse, Gerry had a long history of investment scams.

He was an active member of Black Hat World, where he went by the username of Sceptre and later Murdoch1337. It was determined that Gerry was on that site looking for a black hat hacker (typically, black hat hackers are the “bad” ones while white hat hackers are more ethically motivated). Just three months after Sceptre’s post, Quadriga was founded.

OSC agent Daniel Tourangeau details how Gerry operated the Quadriga scam. He used multiple fake accounts to credit users with fake assets and would then trade against the cryptocurrency with their actual dollars.

Gerry would trade with the fake assets and send real money to his international exchanges, essentially laundering money and playing casino with everyone’s money. He was no criminal mastermind, as what Gerry was doing amounted to high-stakes gambling or a Ponzi scheme (you rob Pete to pay Paul); he lost over $150 million doing it.

When Bitcoin started crashing, and people were trying to withdraw their money all at once, Quadriga lost a lot of money (the company made income from the fees charged for trading dollars for Bitcoin and standard withdrawal fees).

In short, Gerry screwed himself and got stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s hard to say what would have happened had he not died when he did. As for the money, some has been recovered, but the odds of everyone who got scammed getting the rest of it back is very slim.

Did Gerry Cotten ever go to jail?

No. Gerry died before criminal proceedings could occur, so he never spent any time in jail, nor was he sentenced or charged with anything.

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