Jennifer Robertson met Bitcoin entrepreneur Gerald Cotten while working as a waitress in 2014. Robertson was going through a messy divorce when she met Cotten, and he swept her off her feet. Their whirlwind romance and marriage ended suddenly in 2018 when Cotten died while on their honeymoon in India. It seems like a typical sad love story, but it is more mysterious than that because Cotten died owing C$250 million to clients of his cryptocurrency exchange.

Cotten founded Quadriga Fintech Solutions in November 2013 with Michael Patryn; the latter was later revealed to be Omar Dhanani, who served 18-months in Federal prison on identity theft charges. Quadriga launched its online exchange a month later, focusing on local trades. Records show only C$7.4 million worth of Bitcoin was traded throughout 2014. However, Cotten had much grander plans because he envisaged people from as far and wide as Alabama betting legally online, trading on the price fluctuations of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Cotten Left Solely in Charge

Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

All Quadriga directors resigned in 2016, leaving Cotten as the sole person in charge. The company had no employees other than a few contractors, no official offices, or bank accounts. Bitcoin’s prize went crazy in 2017, increasing from US$1,000 to almost US$20,000. This surge resulted in nearly C$1.2 billion worth of Bitcoin traded on Quadriga, resulting in cash-flow problems because the company relied on third-party payment processors. In June of that year, Quadriga announced it lost US$14 million…

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