When QuadrigaCX’s CEO, Gerald Cotten, died unexpectedly in 2018, thousands of users were left in the lurch, not knowing what happened to their money. Netflix’s latest documentary, ‘Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King,’ focuses on what happened to Gerry and the fate of the cryptocurrency exchange platform. Tong Zou, like QCXINT, is one of the many users that lost their money in the wake of Gerry’s death. So, if you’re curious to know whether Tong landed on his feet in the aftermath, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Tong Zou?
Tong Zou was working in the software industry in San Fransisco, California, and was looking to invest in Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency’s value had skyrocketed in 2017, and Tong wanted to make money through the investment. So, in 2018, he took out three loans totaling more than $80,000 and put it all into Bitcoin. But not too long after that, the value of cryptocurrency crashed, leaving Tong with a lot of debt and a high interest rate.
As a result, Tong decided to sell his apartment to clear his dues and move to Canada. In the end, he had around $400,000 that he wanted to transfer to a Canadian account but thought he could avoid the commission charged by the bank by using a cryptocurrency exchange instead. Tong later said, “I was thinking of alternative ways to do it where I could save myself some money. I guess I trusted (Quadriga) a lot.”
At the time, Tong had friends who used QuadrigaCX, and his research led him to believe it was not a scam. So, he bought Bitcoin with the $400,000 and then sold it on QuadrigaCX. Ideally, Tong would have had CA$500,000 in his Canadian account. But that money never came through. As days turned into months, Tong was worried, and all he heard from the company was that the delay was because of a legal issue with a bank.
Tong later added, “At that time, there was nothing I could do. There was no way of getting my money back. Once I deposited it, it was basically gone. It turned out to be a scam.” In the days after Gerry’s death was announced, it became clear that millions of customers’ money had been lost because he was the only one with access to the reserves. An investigation later revealed that Gerry had essentially been gambling away the money, running what became a Ponzi scheme.
Where is Tong Zou Now?
Looking back, Tong Zou regretted investing the money in Bitcoin, adding, “It just makes me more depressed about it. I could have invested it in real estate. I could have put it in stocks. So far, nothing’s been found. It sucks.” While he admitted being irresponsible, he also felt there was no way to anticipate what happened, saying, “It’s also the unluckiness, the timing. How could I know?” Tong is also part of a lawsuit to get the money back.
Since then, Tong has mostly gotten out of cryptocurrency trading. He now lives in a rented apartment in Burnaby in British Columbia, Canada. Tong has been working as a Senior Software Developer at a tech company in Vancouver for the past three years. Now in his 30s, he plays the guitar in his free time and fondly looks back on his time in San Francisco. Apart from this, Tong has also been running a YouTube channel for a few years now, with videos covering a wide range of interests.