In December 2018, 30-year-old Gerald Cotten died suddenly in India. He was the CEO and founder of QuadrigaCX, a cryptocurrency exchange. According to the company, he was the only person who knew the password needed to access customers’ funds…leaving over 100,000 people out of luck.
The CBC podcast A Death In Cryptoland tries to answer some of the many questions Cotten left behind. Why was he the only one to have the password? How can 250 million dollars just disappear? And…could he have faked his own death?
Takara Small has spent a lot of time thinking about these questions. She’s a technology journalist and the host of A Death In Cryptoland. She’s joining us this episode to set the scene for her very bingeable podcast, and share a bit of what she discovered while making it. And don’t worry — if you’re new to cryptocurrency and have no idea what’s going on here (we know the feeling), Takara explains what it is and why people are into it.
Plus, Takara plays her favourite podcasts. If you’re into technology, climate science, or Princess Diana, you’ll want to hear these.
Podcasts featured this week:
A Death In Cryptoland: “When the young CEO of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is reported to have died while honeymooning in India, it sets off a cataclysmic chain of events that would leave about 76,000 people out of a quarter of a billion dollars and a trail of conspiracy theories around whether Gerald Cotten is dead or alive. A Death in Cryptoland is an original podcast series about a crypto-tycoon, his secret past, his sudden demise, and an online sleuth’s obsession to unravel the truth behind QuadrigaCX.”
The Daily: “A major new United Nations scientific report has concluded that countries and corporations have delayed curbing fossil-fuel emissions for so long that we can no longer stop the impact of climate change from intensifying over the coming decades. In short, the climate crisis has arrived, and it’s going to get worse before it can get better. In this episode, we explore the main takeaways from the report — including what needs to happen in the narrowing window of climate opportunity to avoid the most devastating outcomes.”
You’re Wrong About: In the first episode of YWA‘s five-part series on Princess Diana, Michael Hobbes tells his co-host Sarah Marshall about the unusual circumstances of Diana and Prince Charles’ courtship.
Big Tech: “AI development has been met with questions about its many impacts on our world. Maybe we should consider if it’s worth developing at all?”
The Argument: “With the U.S. government puzzling over U.F.O.s, and potentially habitable exoplanets in our telescopes, earthlings are closer than ever to finding other intelligent life in the universe. So the existential question is: Should we try to communicate with whatever we think might be out there?”