What Quadriga Really Was: 3 Theories About Gerald Cotten - Ep.102

Writer Nathaniel Rich discusses his recent long-form Vanity Fair article diving into what really happened with the Quadriga exchange debacle, what Gerald Cotten’s past really was, his relationship to his business partner Michael Patryn and who Patryn really was. He talks about their history with so-called high-yield investment programs, their falling out at Quadriga, what Cotten really did with the funds on the exchange, and the three main theories for what Cotten did, including a scam that ended in death, what Rich calls the “royal fuckup” and the final one, the Mastermind Theory. 

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CipherTrace: https://ciphertrace.com/unconfirmed

Crypto.com: https://crypto.com/

eToro: https://etoro.com/

Episode links: 

Nathaniel Rich: https://twitter.com/NathanielRich

Vanity Fair article: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/11/the-strange-tale-of-quadriga-gerald-cotten

Bloomberg on Michael Patryn’s identity: 


Weekly news recap:




Events in crypto take place at warp speed. This weekly crypto podcast reveals how the marquee names in crypto are reacting to the week’s top headlines. With host Laura Shin, the guests also discuss what they’re thinking about these days and reveal what they believe is on the horizon in crypto. Disclosure: I'm a nocoiner.



You can listen episodes under the area!

Lea Thompson, aka Girl Gone Crypto, talks about what goes into producing her popular “The Crypto Minute” vlog, what initially got her into crypto, and her recent decision to quit her day job and go full time crypto. In this episode we discuss:

  • what “The Crypto Minute” is all about, and all the crypto video content she produces (2:37)
  • how Lea comes up with creative content such as wearing a whale costume to portray Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor (5:04)
  • how long it actually takes to create “The Crypto Minute” (6:36)
  • what goes into producing “The Crypto Minute” and which family member is behind the camera (7:05)
  • the biggest challenges Lea faces when creating her videos and how she decides which stories make the final cut (8:56)
  • Lea’s favorite bloopers including, but not limited to, rug pulls, sushi, an Amazon money printer, and a few fake $100 bills (10:28)
  • how Girl Gone Crypto fell down the crypto rabbit hole and why her ukulele skills were instrumental to her crypto journey (12:54)
  • the time when JK Rowling tweeted about Bitcoin, resulting in Lea’s viral “A Muggle’s Guide to Bitcoin” video (17:31)
  • what type of crypto content works best on different social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok  (20:00)
  • when Girl Gone Crypto stopped being a hobby and how it is going now that Lea is full-time crypto (21:46)
  • how Lea is trying to educate people about crypto in a simple and approachable way… one ninja suit at time (22:34)
  • Crypto News Recap (26:12)


Thank you to our sponsors!

Crypto.com: https://bit.ly/3jzkTAD

Download the Crypto.com app here: https://crypto.onelink.me/J9Lg/laurashinpodcasttesla

The Sun Exchange: http://thesunexchange.com/unconfirmed


Episode links:

Lea Thompson: https://twitter.com/girlgone_crypto

Her YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GirlGoneCrypto

Her TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@girlgone_crypto?source=h5_m

Lea's personal website: https://www.lealovescrypto.com/


Video Examples

2020 Year in Review… News Vlog Style: https://twitter.com/girlgone_crypto/status/1344384717466914817?s=20 

A Muggle’s Guide to Bitcoin: https://twitter.com/girlgone_crypto/status/1261445010832015361?s=20

Hardware Wallets Explained: https://twitter.com/girlgone_crypto/status/1329580439820849153?s=20


Miscellaneous Information

Fair Use: https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html

Money Printer: https://www.amazon.com/Printing-Machine-Magician-Close-Up-Accessories/dp/B07XRBDCL8


Link to the Crypto News Recap:



Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis Global, discusses Tesla’s purchase of $1.5 billion in bitcoin and Genesis’s new unit: Genesis Treasury. He also talks about how demand has shaped Genesis’ bitcoin and crypto offerings over the years, which events have acted as catalysts for institutional demand, and what Genesis is expecting in 2021. In this episode Michael covers:

  • The significance of Tesla allocating $1.5 billion to BTC (1:08)
    • How Tesla’s purchase is a result of the evolution of the asset xlcass and why this is just the beginning
  • How Genesis got its start as a regulated BTC trading desk in 2013 (2:56)
  • What new products and services Genesis has launched since 2018 to meet institutional demand (6:11)
  • How Genesis came to launch Genesis Treasury and what this unit does (8:00)
    • Understanding the idea of bitcoin as a corporate treasury asset and how the stock market is rewarding companies for getting into crypto
  • What the catalysts were in creating corporate demand for bitcoin and where corporate demand for bitcoin is coming from (10:52)
  • How corporate interest in bitcoin correlated with Microstrategy’s Bitcoin for Corporations event (13:16)
    • Why institutions have been interested in Bitcoin as collateral, and why that narrative is new
  • How the conversation with institutions interested in buying bitcoin would be different in a bear market (16:00)
  • How GAAP accounting rules affect the quarterly earnings reports of publicly traded companies that hold bitcoin (19:03 )
  • His projections for how 2021 in crypto will play out (21:44)


Thank you to our sponsors!

Crypto.com: http://crypto.com

The Sun Exchange: http://thesunexchange.com/unconfirmed


Episode links:

Michael Moro: https://twitter.com/michaelmoro  

Genesis: https://genesis.global/ 

Genesis Treasury: https://genesistrading.com/treasury/


Recent institutional purchasing news:

Genesis information:



Link to the Crypto News Recap:


Mira Christanto, research analyst at Messari, recently wrote a comprehensive report on the crypto scene in Asia. In this episode, she covers cultural differences in crypto trading between East and West, plus gives us the latest on the diverse regulatory landscape within this large region. Some topics covered in this show include:

  • why Asia is an important geography in crypto
  • why Asia dominates the crypto futures trading markets
  • why DeFi fits better with Western culture, and centralized services are more respected in the East
  • the state of regulation across the region
  • what makes crypto regulation in Hong Kong unique
  • how the Chinese are approaching regulation, and how bitcoin is exchanged there
  • how Japan's crypto industry differs from that of other companies and why penetration is still somewhat low
  • why and how Korea is distinct from other crypto trading cultures
  • why Singapore's regulatory framework for crypto is the most sophisticated
  • what's happening in Southeast Asia and India 
  • the status of crypto mining in China — and why the Western view of it is quite different from what it's like on the ground


Thank you to our sponsors!

Crypto.com: http://crypto.com

Sun Exchange: http://sunexchange.com/unconfirmed


Episode links:

Mira Christanto: https://twitter.com/asiahodl

Messari: https://messari.io


Messari's Asia Crypto Landscape report: https://messari.io/asia-crypto-landscape


Link to the Crypto News Recap:


Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO and founder of FTX, describes what happened between the Subreddit Wall Street Bets and hedge funds around the stock of GameStop this week. In this episode, he covers:

  • what happened with the stock of video game retailer GameStop this week
  • what that says about how to value a stock
  • how the traditional financial establishment reacted
  • how the events in GameStop this week are similar to the way crypto markets operate
  • how a crypto financial system could affect the ability of investors to do what the hedge funds did with GameStop — shorting more shares of the stock than actually exist
  • what led to FTX listing for tokenized versions of GameStop, Blackberry, AMC and Nokia, as well as a tokenized index fund of Wall Street Bets stocks
  • how the tokenized stocks and index work on the back end
  • why Robinhood restricted customers from purchasing shares in GameStop on Thursday
  • what the inspiration was for FTX


Thank you to our sponsors!

Crypto.com: http://crypto.com

The Sun Exchange: http://sunexchange.com


Episode links:

Sam Bankman-Fried: https://twitter.com/SBF_Alameda

FTX: https://ftx.com


Roundups of what happened with Gamestop: 

NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/27/business/gamestop-wall-street-bets.html

Vox: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/22249458/gamestop-stock-wallstreetbets-reddit-citron

Early Wired story: https://www.wired.com/story/gamestop-stock-wall-street-bets-short-squeeze/

NYT analysis: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/technology/gamestop-stock.html


Sam on what can determine an asset’s price: https://twitter.com/SBF_Alameda/status/1354790766313234432?s=20


Chamath Palihapitiya on CNBC discussing Gamestop — defending individual investors: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/27/chamath-palihapitiya-closes-gamestop-position-but-defends-individual-investors-right-to.html

Videos: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2021/01/27/investor-chamath-palihapitiya-the-gamestop-story-is-pushback-against-wall-street-establishment.html



Gamestop price gyrations: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/28/gamestop-reverses-losses-and-surges-another-30percent-in-the-premarket-to-450-as-mania-continues.html 


How many shares of GME are shorted: https://isthesqueezesquoze.com


FTX lists GME for tokenized spot and futures trading: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/92756/ftx-lists-gme-stock-for-tokenized-spot-futures-trading


FTX’s Wall Street Bets tokenized index fund: https://twitter.com/SBF_Alameda/status/1354790817060143114?s=20


Robinhood customers only being able to sell, not buy GME when Robinhood’s revenue biggest revenue source is sending order flow to hedge funds: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/28/robinhood-interactive-brokers-restrict-trading-in-gamestop-s.html


Matt Levine of Bloomberg on GameStop: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-01-28/knowing-when-to-sell-gamestop-stock-at-the-top-is-impossible?sref=m9L277rN


Link to the Crypto News Recap:


Gregory Pepin, deputy CEO of Deltec Bank and Trust, responds to allegations in a blog post by the pseudonymous Crypto Anonymous, that Tether is a "highly probably fraud." In this episode, he covers:

  • how Deltec accounts for its reserves, and why they didn't show up on Crypto Anonymous's blog post
  • where the dollars backing Tethers are held
  • how Tethers get created
  • where Tether Ltd. keeps its cash equivalents
  • why there's more demand for trading with USDT than with USD partially because of the arbitrage opportunity between East and West 
  • how Tethers get created using Deltec
  • why USDT gets minted in very round numbers as opposed to very specific numbers that USDC is minted in
  • where the cash equivalents backing Tethers are held
  • what type of due diligence Deltec conducted when it took on Tether Ltd. as a customer
  • why the perception that Tether is unregulated compared to other stablecoins is false
  • what Deltec thinks about the New York Attorney General office's investigation in to Tether
  • why Deltec has a "large position in bitcoin"


Thank you to our sponsor!

Crypto.com: http://crypto.com


Episode links:

Gregory Pepin: https://twitter.com/dzrgreg

Deltec Bank: https://www.deltecbank.com/?locale=en


Crypto Anonymous’s Medium post: https://crypto-anonymous-2021.medium.com/the-bit-short-inside-cryptos-doomsday-machine-f8dcf78a64d3


Deltec having large position in bitcoin: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/91353/deltec-bitcoin-position-tether


Original video in which Deltec mentions its “large position in bitcoin”: https://www.deltecbank.com/2021/01/14/a-covid-year-in-review/


Deltec banking Tether: https://www.coindesk.com/deltec-chairman-says-tether-letter-on-bank-relationship-is-authentic


Tether not audited: https://www.coindesk.com/tether-review-claims-crypto-asset-fully-backed-theres-catch


Tether says it is fully backed: https://www.coindesk.com/tether-says-its-stablecoin-is-fully-backed-again


Tether current balances: https://wallet.tether.to/transparency?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=c035d054dd287020b16d6dbb4b70398ca7a99dcb-1611253376-0-AcOsT0Zqpd8Muzw5gnkSz6KKmTrN3WAssxGX8K-p_PkeZ2SUfW9EsAr-a2EkIojYzm5-3RA_1DHxpoK579d0YgtnxMYevlVRSS7RIAKh0sgk-ORzOZUDNgg_AvZjugdrxWVjTA9dCBf1hX4X83oU3-RTjQYn_qYukdRFJUq9a89BXyyDovL3bu4ohxSSVdworOR-cdxEiPURe4ZJrGIvuW3Ej2qJLJt3RDXfX6BfDANdpkVrU6O2KB4V0Or-HJjItS0uAu-L7KrTomXNv9anUv34_An8cH3VHYfB_OD-iyIvkgOh7RHd-Xafe-SJwPnUYg


What Tether is backed by: https://wallet.tether.to/transparency?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=c035d054dd287020b16d6dbb4b70398ca7a99dcb-1611253376-0-AcOsT0Zqpd8Muzw5gnkSz6KKmTrN3WAssxGX8K-p_PkeZ2SUfW9EsAr-a2EkIojYzm5-3RA_1DHxpoK579d0YgtnxMYevlVRSS7RIAKh0sgk-ORzOZUDNgg_AvZjugdrxWVjTA9dCBf1hX4X83oU3-RTjQYn_qYukdRFJUq9a89BXyyDovL3bu4ohxSSVdworOR-cdxEiPURe4ZJrGIvuW3Ej2qJLJt3RDXfX6BfDANdpkVrU6O2KB4V0Or-HJjItS0uAu-L7KrTomXNv9anUv34_An8cH3VHYfB_OD-iyIvkgOh7RHd-Xafe-SJwPnUYg


New York Attorney General’s office press release on investigation into iFinex: https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/2019/attorney-general-james-announces-court-order-against-crypto-currency-company


CoinDesk on NYAG investigation: https://www.coindesk.com/bitfinex-ny-prosecutors-tether-850-million-allege


Link to the Crypto News Recap:


Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at Coinshares, and Nic Carter, general partner at Castle Island Ventures, join me at the Stacks conference to discuss Bitcoin layer 2s. In this episode, they cover: 

  • why layers 2s exist
  • how layer 2s, such as payment channels like Lightning, work
  • what kind of throughput layer 2s have 
  • how moving Bitcoin to layer 2 affects the price
  • why people having moved $5 billion worth of Bitcoin to Ethereum
  • how Bitcoin moving to Ethereum affects the price
  • the most popular Bitcoin layer 2s

Thank you to our sponsor!

Crypto.com: http://crypto.com


Episode links:

Meltem Demirors: https://twitter.com/Melt_Dem

Nic Carter: https://twitter.com/nic__carter

Stacks: https://twitter.com/Stacks


Total value locked in Lightning: https://www.defipulse.com/lightning-network


Bitcoin on Ethereum: https://www.defipulse.com/btc


Stats on Lightning: https://bitcoinvisuals.com/lightning


What layer 2s mean for altcoins and base chain assets like Bitcoin: https://www.coindesk.com/rise-of-layer-2s-altcoins-like-ethereum


Sovryn: https://sovryn.app

RSK: https://www.rsk.co

Liquid network: https://blockstream.com/liquid/


Link to the Crypto News Recap:


Frank Chaparro, director of news at The Block, gives his predictions for what will happen in crypto in 2021. In this episode, we discuss:

  • the big stories in crypto in 2020
  • how the market has changed in 2020
  • how the market differs from the 2017-2018 bubble
  • what big traditional financial services firms and investment banks will do in crypto in 2021
  • how crypto exchanges will experiment with their fee structures
  • how regulatory actions, such as the lawsuit against Ripple, will affect exchanges
  • what might happen to privacy coins as regulators become more active
  • what he expects to see from the upcoming Coinbase IPO and how that will affect the broader market


Thank you to our sponsors!

Crypto.com: http://crypto.com

Blocknative: http://blocknative.com/unconfirmed


Episode links:

Frank Chaparro: https://twitter.com/fintechfrank

The Block: https://www.theblockcrypto.com


The Block's 2020 year in review: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/promotions/2020-in-review/


Predictions from The Block's analysts: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/89788/2021-predictions-from-the-blocks-analysts


Unchained interview with Raoul Pal and Michael Novogratz: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-bitcoin-now-mike-novogratz-and-raoul-pal-on-the-single-greatest-brand-of-the-last-10-years/


Bittrex delisting privacy coins: https://twitter.com/BittrexExchange/status/1345056010981892096?s=20


Link to the Crypto News Recap:


For the holidays, I'm doing two AMAs. In the second of two, I cover:

  • privacy blockchains
  • my thoughts on the STABLE Act
  • whether or not Facebook's Diem will have a positive or negative impact on crypto
  • what I miss from pre-COVID about the crypto community
  • how we can use blockchain and crypto to weed our propaganda and fake news
  • the best pick and shovel plays in crypto
  • what distinguishes a journalist from an entertainer
  • my thoughts on the state of media and journalism in the US


Thank you to our sponsors!

Blocknative: http://blocknative.com/unconfirmed

Crypto.com: http://crypto.com


Episode links:

Meltem Demirors on privacy in 2021: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-bitcoin-now-meltem-demirors-and-lyn-alden-on-the-perfect-conditions-for-bitcoin/

Jessie Liu episode: https://unchainedpodcast.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-dojs-cryptocurrency-enforcement-framework/

Brian Brooks episode: https://unchainedpodcast.com/acting-comptroller-of-the-currency-brian-brooks-on-crypto-banks/

STABLE Act episode: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-rohan-grey-believes-stablecoin-issuers-need-to-be-banks/

Episodes on Coinbase: https://unchainedpodcast.com/will-coinbase-do-a-token-offering-when-it-goes-public/


Episode with Chad Cascarilla of Paxos:


For the holidays, I'm doing two AMAs. In this first of two, I cover:

  • how my book is going
  • tips for aspiring podcasters
  • what it's like being an independent journalist
  • how I spent my time outside crypto
  • if I send bitcoin to North Korea
  • whether I own any crypto
  • if I expect bitcoin will lose its weirdness as it becomes more widely adopted
  • how much blockchain technology can disintermediate banks
  • what black swans I see on the horizon for 2021
  • what trends I see for 2021


Thank you to our sponsors!

Blocknative: http://blocknative.com/unconfirmed

Crypto.com: http://crypto.com




My previous AMA: https://unchainedpodcast.com/ama-with-laura-the-greatest-innovation-in-the-industry-right-now/

Whether North Koreans can benefit from bitcoin: https://unchainedpodcast.com/yeonmi-park-on-why-doing-business-with-north-korea-is-like-buying-a-ticket-to-a-concentration-camp/

Why North Korea is interested in cryptocurrency: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-north-korea-is-interested-in-cryptocurrency/

Alex Gladstein of the Human Rights Foundation: https://unchainedpodcast.com/alex-gladstein-on-a-world-without-bitcoin/

DeFi hacks: https://unchainedpodcast.com/defi-security-with-so-many-hacks-will-it-ever-be-safe/

Why yield farming is risky: https://unchainedpodcast.com/defi-yield-farming-why-its-all-the-rage-but-risky/

Regulation: https://unchainedpodcast.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-looming-battle-over-privacy-in-crypto/



Link to the Crypto News Recap: