Gerald Cotten was a young CEO of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange: QuadrigaCX. After a few years in the market, near the peak of trading volume, the exchange suddenly suspends all operations and announces the death of its CEO, reporting that he was the only one who had access to the passwords of the cryptocurrency wallets.
The story gets even stranger when it is discovered that Cotten left a will to his wife (Jennifer Robertson, who had already changed her name three times) a few days before his death. The alleged death was said to have occurred on a trip to India, and the funeral was held with a closed coffin. The theory that Cotten had faked his death quickly gained momentum on the internet.
In summary, Trust No One is a 90 minute documentary that attempts to explain one of the biggest controversies in the cryptocurrency business today.
The documentary shows an ordered sequence of events, making it easy to understand. In fact, it is not necessary to have any knowledge about cryptocurrencies to understand the plot. Unlike other documentaries that take the time to explain what blockchain is or the web1 – web2 – web3 evolution of the internet, Trust No One gets to the point: controversies, facts, hypotheses, reports and conspiracies.
In an attempt to show different points of view and versions, many people are interviewed, from investors who lost all their savings, to researchers and Cotten’s close relatives.
Although it does not provide answers, Trust No One shows that it is important to do a lot of research before entering new markets. It is clear that the background of Gerald Cotten and his exchange was suspect from the beginning, but few realized it before trouble arose. The concept of checking rather than trusting motivated the name of the film.
Much time is spent on unfounded conspiracies and chat conversations that do not add useful information. At the same time, the documentary shows that one of the main indications of QuadrigaCX’s fraudulent operations are cryptocurrency transfers to other exchanges, but the subject does not advance on this issue and no members of other exchanges participate in the footage.
In an attempt to contextualize the current status of the cryptocurrency market when the scandal occurred, it is confusing to understand if the goal of the documentary is to criticize the volatility and lack of regulation of cryptocurrencies or just the malicious actors operating in this sector.
Anything that teaches people to increase their skepticism is helpful in some way. In that sense, Trust No One fulfills its role while entertaining the viewer with a story that remains full of unsolved mysteries.