Gerald Cotten was born in 1988 and from Toronto, Canada. He was the founder and chief executive officer of QuadrigaCX. On his death certificate, it is stated he died on December 9, 2018, from complications with Crohn’s disease.
He was a bitcoin millionaire and following his death, the company was forced to close and filed an application for creditor protection with the Nova Scotia Supreme court in February.
On February 5, 2019, he passed away during a trip to Jaipur, India. At the time of his death, Cotten was the sole holder of the private keys and passwords to QuadrigaCX’s cold storage which has about $140 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
However, after his death, QuadrigaCX shut down weeks after Cotten died while on his honeymoon, leaving some 76,000 users out of pocket for about C$215 million ($163 million) in cash and cryptocurrencies.
His girlfriend, Jennifer Robertson, claimed that Gerry “died suddenly” while on their honeymoon in Jaipur, according to Vanity Fair. His date of death: December 9, 2018. Globe and Mail report that the couple was staying at “Oberoi Rajvilas, a luxurious resort where peacock calls echo across the verdant grounds.”
Currently, Online conspiracy theories have alleged that Gerald Cotten might have faked his death and taken the money. Ernst & Young “alleged Cotten had created Quadriga accounts under different names,” and received “Substantial funds,” according to The New York Post.
Miller Thomson LLP wrote a letter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, asking that they “conduct an exhumation and post-mortem autopsy on the body of Gerald Cotten to confirm both its identity and the cause of death given the questionable circumstances” and the significant losses of affected users.
He grew up in Belleville, in Canada, near Montreal and Canada, and he had a business administration degree from York University in Toronto.
Gerald’s parents owned an antique store and he started QuadrigaCX with a friend in 2013. Quadriga Fintech Solutions was the owner and operator of QuadrigaCX, which was believed to be Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
Before attending the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Gerald Cotten lived in Belleville, Ontario. He graduated from York with a bachelor of business administration in 2010.
He learned about bitcoin in Toronto and traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia where he founded Quadriga in November 2013 with Michael Patryn. In January 2014 they installed the second Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver. In 2014 only C$7.4-million worth of bitcoin was exchanged on Quadriga.
In 2016, Cotten became the sole director of Quadriga when all the other directors resigned. In 2017 Bitcoin experienced a speculative frenzy rising in price from about US$1,000 to almost US$20,000. About C$1.2-billion worth of bitcoin was exchanged on Quadriga.
Throughout 2018, as Bitcoin prices crashed, customers of the exchange reported delays when attempting to withdraw dollars and C$28 million held by Custodian, a Quadriga payment processor, was frozen by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in January 2018.
Quadriga’s lawyer, the firm Stewart McKelvey, withdrew from the case due to a potential conflict of interest. On 5 March 2019 Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Michael Wood extended Quadriga’s court protection to 23 April.
Quadriga’s customers are owed C$260 million in cryptocurrency and cash. A C$24.7 million disbursement fund has been planned with C$300,000 to go to Cotten’s widow, Jennifer Robertson, who advanced that amount to start the court proceedings, C$200,000 will go to Ernst & Young and another C$250,000 to its lawyers, C$229,842 will go to Quadriga’s lawyers and C$17,000 to independent contractors.