Nobody was expecting Gerald Cotten, the CEO of Canadian Bitcoin exchange QuadrigaCX, to die at 30. Cotten was young, energetic, passionate about cryptocurrency — so when he passed away in December 2018 during his honeymoon in India, due to “complications from Crohn’s disease,” everyone was taken by surprise.
And not everyone bought the story. Netflix’s new documentary about Cotten and the mystery of his death, Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King, explores the mystery of Cotten’s death and the paranoia and conspiracy theories that circulated amongst Quadriga investors about whether or not he might still be alive.
It’s not the first project to dig into the mystery: Journalists Aaron Lammer and Lane Brown investigated the story for two years for their podcast Exit Scam, and Vanity Fair published an extensive investigation in 2019.
The prospect of a rich young entrepreneur faking his own death and running off with millions is a compelling story — it just doesn’t happen to be true. Gerald Cotten did die in India in December 2018. Here’s how it happened.