Based on the way Trust Nobody: The Hunt for the Crypto King Talking about bitcoin and cryptocurrency, you might think it was all a defunct Ponzi scheme that everyone found out years ago was a scam lingering on a last, dying gasp. But the fact of the matter is that cryptocurrency has been a persistent buzzword for a number of years, even after the big crash of 2018 that kick-started the sordid story at the heart of this new Netflix documentary.
If you’ve been spending time on Reddit, or social media in general, you’ve undoubtedly heard almost constant mentions and jokes at the expense of “crypto bros” and NFT users. Whether you know what those words mean is another question entirely, and one I can’t fully help you with, as a lot of it still doesn’t make sense to me.
Watch after Trust Nobody: The Hunt for the Crypto King detailed how many crypto users were scammed and scammed in 2018, and 2019 seems to be a harbinger of what is likely to happen again in some form in the next few years in terms of NFTs (if it isn’t already happening).
This particular scam revolves around Gerald “Gerry” Cotten, co-founder of Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX. Throughout the documentary we find out that Gerry wasn’t exactly the nice guy he made out to be. In fact, he started the company with a formerly convicted con man with ties to a shady identity theft ring.
Then Gerry dies, supposedly taking all the passwords with him to the grave. But did he really die? Or has he orchestrated an elaborate “exit scam” with intent to steal millions of dollars from his customer base? And was his wife, Jennifer Robertson, involved in his dealings? Did she help him escape?
The second the documentary started talking about Gerry’s wife I knew It was only a matter of time before misogyny reared its ugly head, and I was right. When Quadriga users began to realize that they might have been scammed, they flocked to Telegram’s online forum to search the web for clues. A mysterious crypto investor nicknamed QCXINT spearheaded the amateur sleuthing.
When the angry Telegram users realized that Gerry really could be dead, they needed a new target and set their sights on Jennifer. Seeing these angry men start insulting them and chanting “lock them up!” in an online chat room begins to make you lose sympathy for her, especially when there is absolutely no evidence that Jennifer had anything to do with her husband’s misdeeds.
And this is where the main problems of this documentation come into play. Most of what is presented here is information that is already available online. Not much comes out Trust Nobody: The Hunt for the Crypto King is “new” information or evidence. It’s a huge deception to have people believe that something like Gerry is alive or Jennifer is complicit before saying actually no, none of this is true to get you hooked.
If, like me, you didn’t know much about cryptocurrency or QuadrigaCX’s sordid history, you’ll probably be invested, but it eventually gets tiresome with the constant back-and-forth and changing narratives.
Trust No One: The hunt for the crypto king loses sight of its most striking narrative
What I found most disappointing was that there was one a lot of a stronger perspective on rampant misogyny and the dangers of online groupthink and internet conspiracy theories. We’ve seen how messed up these groups can get with the birth of Q-Anon and incidents leading to widespread Sandy Hook conspiracy theories, the outspoken anti-vax part of the internet, climate change deniers, flat earthers , 5G, etc.
Trust Nobody: The Hunt for the Crypto King briefly elaborates on this, with at least one of the documentarians stating that those who believe Gerry is still alive can never be convinced. Some want Gerry’s grave to be exhumed to verify his body is there, but half of them would call it a fake body or ask for a DNA test and then claim that was fake too.
Will they ever be truly satisfied? Odds are, probably not. They are angry that they have been scammed and frustrated that they will never get their money back. It’s understandable that they’d be upset about being betrayed, but the resulting anger isn’t always conducive to a happy ending for the innocent people who get locked up and doxxed. Jennifer had to be escorted to a safe house because of the death threats she was receiving.
Ultimately I think Trust Nobody: The Hunt for the Crypto King fails to focus on the most interesting aspect of this story: the community cryptocurrency broods and the dangers of widespread conspiracy theories. It touches heavily on the conspiracy angle throughout, but fails to address the consequences beyond casual mentions.
Andrew Wagner, a member of a crypto cooperative in Vancouver, really puts it into perspective by saying:
“Conspiracy theories breed in ignorance. It makes it easier for people to speculate wildly because the authorities don’t provide them with accurate information quickly enough. If you force people on the internet to be the detectives, they will. And they will solve it in their own way.”
If only that wasn’t a last sentence shoved into the final seconds of the documentary. That quote should have formed the basis of this film, which would have created a much more enticing and resonant point of view.
That’s not to say that online detective work is always bad, but let’s face it – more often than not these people fill in details to make the story more exciting and salacious rather than because they’re actively seeking the truth.
Trust Nobody: The Hunt for the Crypto King now streaming on Netflix.
https://netflixlife.com/2022/03/30/trust-no-one-the-hunt-for-the-crypto-king-true-crime-netflix-review/ Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King Review: Watch or Skip?