In 2018, a young Canadian cryptocurrency entrepreneur named Gerald Cotton died of complications from Crohn's disease while on his honeymoon in India. Or did he? Questions and rumors have long swirled around Cotton's death, fueled by revelations of a con artist past, a shady business partner, a lavish personal lifestyle (he'd purchased a private island from Tucker Carlson), and—most damningly—the disappearance of some $215 million in customer funds from Quadriga, Cotton's thriving bitcoin exchange.
Had Cotton pulled the ultimate exit scam? A new podcast miniseries from Treats Media attempts to answer that question. In Exit Scam—which debuted in May and wrapped up its eight-episode arc in late June—host Aaron Lammer explores how Cotton came to run Canada's top bitcoin exchange and whether it was "a Ponzi scheme from the very beginning." In true-crime style, Lammer gradually unfolds the narrative, building suspense as he guides us through interviews with those close to Cotton, details about his past, and disturbing discoveries about his business dealings.
The mystery of whether Cotton faked his own death may remain unsolved. But listeners do get a thorough and attention-gripping autopsy of how a shadowy and charismatic crypto enthusiast was able to lure in so many people.