According to the crack IT team here at Financial Uproar (seven grandmothers at the local assisted living facility), I don’t think I’ve ever really tackled the topic of crypto currency.
Oh wait. I talked about how much it costs to mine Bitcoin like two weeks ago. NICE WORK, MILDRED.
It turns out I also wrote a post asking if Bitcoin is keeping the price of gold down. Maybe!
I won’t bother explaining what crypto currency is at this point, since a) you probably already know and b) even the bulls don’t really grasp the potential. Or so I’ve been told, anyway.
As far as I can tell it exists as a way to extort people out of stuff and not be traced or to buy weird stuff on the dark web like some girl’s virginity. There’s gotta be a way for some enterprising woman to fake that and sell her virginity like five times, btw. Come on ladies, I have confidence in you.
I feel like crypto currency is sorta like your spare tire. Once or twice in your life it’s really useful and the rest of the time you can easily do without it. If your car didn’t come with a spare would you just drive and take your chances? I probably would.
Meanwhile, the crypto market is filled with the kinds of risks that traditional investors don’t have to deal with. Like this next story, which is 100% true.
Meet Gerald Cotten
Up until a couple months ago, Gerald Cotten was just your regular founder and CEO of QuadrigaCX, which was a crypto currency exchange and storage site. There was approximately $200 million worth of assets on the platform, all in imaginary bullshit coins that are always quoted in the price of real currency.
Sorry, slip of the tongue there. Still totally love crypto, guys.
So ol’ Gerry there decides to take a trip to India despite the place smelling like, well, India. He’s having a grand ol’ time helping out at an orphanage when suddenly he dies from complications of Crohn’s Disease. He was only 30 years old.
Gerry’s widow, Jennifer Robinson, starts to deal with his affairs after he dies. One of the first steps is to get everyone’s crypto currency and find a way to return it to them. Without Gerald there’s no QuadrigaCX, which is okay because that’s a dumb name anyway.
There’s a problem. She can’t access any of the accounts because they’re encrypted. She hires a bunch of security experts and they have no luck either. The only person who knew the passwords was Gerry. There’s 200 million dollars worth of crypto currency sitting on a laptop and a bunch of thumb drives with no way to access them.
You might be thinking “geez, Nelson. This sounds like a Mickey Mouse organization.” And you’d be exactly right.
It gets better.
Gerry’s wife was the sole heir of his estate, which was worth more than $9 million. Included in the assets were the family’s home in Nova Scotia, an undeveloped property in another part of Nova Scotia, a large house in Kelowna, a Lexus and a Mini Cooper, an airplane and a 50-foot sailboat. Oh, and he had enough kicking around to give his in-laws $100,000 to help his wife take care of their two
rat dogs Chihuahuas.
Cotten signed his will just two weeks before he died.
But wait. There’s more.
QuadrigaCX has been having financial difficulties for months, including CIBC not processing about $26 million worth of payments. Some customers complained it would take weeks to get their money after putting in their sell orders. The company went into bankruptcy protection just weeks after Gerry’s death.
Oh, I’m not done yet.
The region of India where Gerald was is well known for being somewhere you want to go to fake your own death. I’m not the only one with suspicions, either. Quadriga had accounts for 115,000 people. The internet is filled with people accusing Cotten of faking his own debt. This is a big deal.
It is absolutely amazing some guy with his laptop managed to be one of the largest crypto players in Canada. As far as I’m concerned this made it even more likely he faked his own death. Gerald is not a moron.
But at the same time how does anyone look at this situation and say “yep, I’m going to go invest in Bitcoin now?” This shit is crazy, yo.
If Cotten is discovered in India he can be extradited back to Canada. But finding him isn’t enough. They also have to prove he willingly tried to screw people. Meanwhile his wife hides all his assets in crypto and nobody can find the cash.
Anyhoo, let’s wrap this up. Am I surprised the crypto world is dealing with something like this? Absolutely not. Nor will I be surprised if they find him at some point in the future. This is nuts and I can’t get enough.