The co-founder of the cryptocurrency lending platform MakerDAO and the decentralized stablecoin Dai, Nikolai Mushegian, has been found dead in Puerto Rico at the age of 29, sparking speculation on Twitter regarding the circumstances surrounding his death.

Mushegian’s death was confirmed by local news outlet El Nuevo Dia on Friday.

The publication, citing police, reported that he had drowned after being swept away by strong sea currents close to Condado Beach in an area that is known for being dangerous.

Officials said that Mushegian had been a resident of San Juan at the time of his death. The young man reportedly showed no vital signs when police discovered his body.

The scene was reportedly investigated by the San Juan Homicide Division and a local prosecutor.

Mushegian was a highly-regarded figure in the cryptocurrency community and helped develop multiple blockchain-based decentralized financial platforms and stablecoin systems as well as being a co-founder of Balancer, an automated portfolio manager and trading platform on Ethereum.

Most recently, he had been working on a free-floating collateralized stablecoin system called “Rico” which was designed “with an emphasis on automation and market rate discovery,” according to his website.

‘They Will Torture Me to Death’

Just one day before his sudden death, Mushegian wrote on Twitter that the “CIA and Mossad and pedo elite are running some kind of sex trafficking entrapment blackmail ring out of Puerto Rico and Caribbean islands” and that “they are going to frame me with a laptop planted by my ex gf [girlfriend] who was a spy. They will torture me to death.”

Two months prior, he wrote on Twitter that he had “three possible futures,” which included either being “suicided by the CIA,” becoming a “CIA brain damage slave asset,” or the “worst nightmare of people who [expletive] with me up until now.”

Following news of his death, Twitter users within cryptocurrency circles began speculating about the circumstances surrounding it, with many referring to his last post.

Tether co-creator Craig Sellars noted on Twitter that Mushegian’s death came just days after Coinbase announced it had entered into a partnership with MakerDAO to become a custodian of $1.6 billion worth of the stablecoin USDC. MakerDAO is the largest single holder of USDC.

Meanwhile, tributes poured in online for Mushegian following news of his death.

MakerDAO founder and CEO Rune Christensen wrote on Twitter on Monday: “Nikolai was one of the only people in the early days of Ethereum and smart contracts who was able to predict the possibility of smart contract hacks and invented the security-oriented approach to smart contract design we know today. Maker would have been toast without him.”

Elsewhere, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson wrote: “I knew Nikolai from back in the Bitshares days. He was a very young and extremely bright man who had a very wide array of interests from game theory to urbit. I believe he went to CMU and had a deep understanding of technology. Sad to see what happened.”

Puerto Rico police could not be reached for comment.


Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.

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