No Proof of Foul Play in Demise of MakerDAO Co-Founder Nikolai Mushegian, Police Say

 No Proof of Foul Play in Demise of MakerDAO Co-Founder Nikolai Mushegian, Police Say

Although the investigation is constant, police in Puerto Rico have discovered no proof of foul play within the dying of MakerDAO co-founder Nikolai Mushegian.

The physique of Mushegian, 29, washed up on a seashore within the Condado neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico, final week. Hours earlier than his dying, the developer, a foundational determine within the early improvement of DAOs, stablecoins, and Web3 safety, tweeted that mysterious forces, together with the Mossad, the CIA and a “pedo ring” had been planning to kill him. The tweet, predictably, fueled various simmering conspiracy theories.

Nonetheless, based on San Juan police information obtained by Decrypt, investigators have so far discovered no indication of foul play in Mushegian’s dying. Police discovered “no indicators of violence” throughout a preliminary examination of Mushegian’s physique, although he did endure a small laceration to his cranium. 

Mushegian’s physique was recovered on Ashford Seaside, an space well-known in San Juan for its dangerous swimming conditions. Quite a few swimmers, notably vacationers, have drowned within the space.

The seashore sometimes options ample indicators warning beachgoers to not swim, attributable to robust undercurrents and rocky circumstances; a few of these indicators could have been lately washed away, nevertheless, by the devastating hurricane that pummeled Puerto Rico in September. The realm of Ashford Seaside on which Mushegian was discovered is primarily frequented by surfers. There was no indication that Mushegian had been browsing previous to his dying. 

Puerto Rico Police Bureau’s murder division is investigating the matter—its involvement is commonplace apply for all drowning deaths. Additionally it is commonplace apply for an official reason for dying to not be decided till after a proper post-mortem, the outcomes of which routinely take a month or extra to be filed. 

A supply near the investigation, nevertheless, did say they consider various elements within the investigation level to the potential for Mushegian’s dying being thought of a suicide. 

Some who knew him mourned his passing as a preventable tragedy, one indicative of the prevalence of psychological well being points afflicting “good however troubled” leaders within the crypto area.

Within the months main as much as Mushegian’s dying, the crypto founder started posting more and more conspiratorial messages to Twitter, implying that his ex-girlfriend had implicated him in a prison conspiracy involving authorities spies. 

Rune Christensen, Mushegian’s fellow MakerDAO co-founder, informed Decrypt that he spoke to Mushegian three months in the past, and that Mushegian appeared to be in good spirits. He was nevertheless already exhibiting considerations about authorities and prison conspiracies.   

“He appeared joyful to be constructing his new stablecoin RICO,” stated Christensen. “However he was additionally frightened a couple of prison group he believed was attempting to intrude along with his work.” 

Mushegian left MakerDAO in 2018, reportedly dissatisfied with the mission’s straying from its preliminary beliefs of decentralization and opposition to authorities and conventional capital. Christensen continues to be closely concerned with the protocol, which simply final week authorized a serious partnership with publicly-traded crypto trade Coinbase, and final month invested $500 million in U.S. authorities bonds.   

Mushegian was most lately constructing RICO, a decentralized stablecoin envisioned as a “non secular successor” to DAI, MakerDAO’s stablecoin, however that might be, in distinction, designed “with out compromises.” Nonetheless, throughout his remaining days, he seemed to be satisfied that the stablecoin had provoked state actors who had been frightened concerning the cryptocurrency’s potential to threaten the dominance of the central banking system, and that they had been planning to assassinate him. 

Some business leaders, together with Ameen Soleimani—CEO of Spanchain and co-founder of Reflexer, the corporate behind RAI, an Ethereum-backed stablecoin closely influenced by Mushegian—have in latest days doubled down on their beliefs that Mushegian was murdered.

Juan Hernández contributed reporting to this story.

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