Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery

Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery

This feature about the short life and mysterious death of Canadian born, former Belleville resident, U of T student, QuadrigaCX CEO, Gerald (Gerry) Cotten. To this day the losses of millions of dollars continue to be unresolved, with far fewer answers than questions, this film uses  re-enactment, first person interviews, live action and animation, to describe the almost mundane and the unequivocally outrageous facts of the last five years of Gerry’s life.

Against the backdrop of the largely unregulated and often criminal world of cryptocurrency, Dead Man’s Switch tells a story, where no one involved agrees on what exactly transpired, and where their assets have ultimately ‘Gone’ – leaving the viewer continually surprised and continually asking ‘How could this happen?’

“‘Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery’ Review: A Staggering Scam?” Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“Sheona McDonald’s latest documentary Dead Man’s Switch a crypto mystery examines the rise and fall of the crypto giant to better understand how such a large sum of money could be loss in the digital ether.” Courtney Small, POV Magazine

Awards and Nominations

Canadian Screen Awards, 2022, Best Direction, Documentary Program, Best Documentary Program and Best Writing, Documentary, Nominee
Forest City Film Festival, 2021, London, ON, Best Documentary Feature, Jury Prize, Winner


Sheona McDonald



Film Details

2021, 78 min

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