Nikolai Mushegian, co-founder of the cryptocurrency lending platform MakerDAO and the decentralized Dai stablecoin, was found dead in Puerto Rico last week.
Mushegian died due to drowning after being dragged by sea currents on the Condado beach in San Juan, the local newspaper El Nuevo Día reported. Mushegian had no vital signs by the time his body was rescued.
The Condado beach is considered one of the world’s most dangerous places for swimmers, reportedly taking the lives of at least eight people in 2021.
The unfortunate event was reported to local authorities on the morning on Oct. 28. According to a police report, Mushegian was a resident of San Juan. The scene was reportedly investigated by the San Juan Homicide Division and a local prosecutor.
Mushegian was an important figure in the cryptocurrency community, contributing to multiple industry projects, with some referring to him as a “Dai architect.” The 29-year-old crypto developer is known for his work with MakerDAO forks Rico and Rai, as well as the proof-of-stake blockchain network BitShares. Mushegian is also a co-founder of the automated market maker Balancer.
MakerDAO founder and CEO Rune Christensen took to Twitter on Oct. 31 to say that Mushegian contributed important inputs to Maker’s development and has done some crucial work since the early days of Ethereum.
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 October 31, 2022
Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson wrote on Twitter that he knew Mushegian 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,” Hoskinson said, adding that the coder had a deep understanding of technology.
Tether co-creator Craig Sellars noted that Mushegian’s death came just a few days after the MakerDAO community voted to approve custody of $1.6 billion in USD Coin with the Coinbase crypto exchange.
Mushegian was an active community member on social media. His Twitter account, Delete_shitcoin, has about 5,500 followers at the time of writing. His last tweet was published just a few hours before his death, referring to suggestions of alleged blackmail from the United States Central Intelligence Agency and Mossad. Mushegian previously made similar statements on Twitter, hinting at a potential “suicide” by the CIA as one of his possible futures.
The judge overseeing the Celsius bankruptcy case has ordered the examiner and the official committee of Celsius creditors to determine who will head a probe into whether the firm was operating like a Ponzi scheme.
The order during the Nov. 1 hearing comes in response to allegations from customers that Celsius had used assets of new users to pay yields and facilitate withdrawals to existing users, and as a result, fits the legal definition of a Ponzi scheme.
The judge had approved the appointment of an independent examiner on Sep. 9 to look into aspects of Celsius’ business, following calls for greater transparency into its operations such as its tax payment procedures and why some customers were moved to different accounts.
It is not the first time the embattled lender has been accused of operating like a Ponzi scheme, with decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol KeyFi having alleged that Celsius acts like one when it sued Celsius on July 7.
Celsius had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 13, citing a crash in crypto values and poor asset deployment decisions, and the case has been proceeding through the court system since.
In the Nov. 1 hearing, the Federal judge, Martin Glenn, also told Celsius that they would have to include more details in its Oct. 11 motion to pay nearly $3 million to 62 employees as part of a key employee retention plan (KERP), with Law360 quoting the judge as saying:
“I was shocked when I saw the redactions. I had never seen anyone try to redact everything.”
Glenn is referring to a section within the motion that outlines the participants of the bonus, where every detail relating to the individuals available to the public had been redacted including their salaries and job descriptions.
The United States Trustee had filed an objection on Oct. 27 to the KERP, taking issue with the lack of identifiable metrics within the motion to warrant such an expensive bonus scheme and that it prevented interested parties from arguing whether some participants could be considered insiders and therefore ineligible for a KERP.
Pick n Pay, one of South Africa’s largest supermarket chains, is set to allow its customers to pay for items in all its stores using Bitcoin.
According to South African-based tech news outlet Tech Central, Pick N Pay is planning to roll out its cryptocurrency payments service to its stores nationwide in the coming months after years of experimentation in select stores. The supermarket chain allegedly started experimenting with Bitcoin payments five years ago in Cape Town but was stymied by expensive costs and long transaction wait times.
The nationwide rollout will allow the store’s customers to pay for items using cryptocurrency through “trusted apps” on their smartphones or by simply scanning a QR code and accepting the rand conversion rate at the time of payment.
As per the report, Chris Shortt, the group executive for IT at Pick n Pay, shared that the advancement and evolution of cryptocurrency technology over the years has made it possible to now “provide an affordable service for high volume, low-value transactions that will promote financial inclusion in South Africa.”
Pick n Pay reportedly partnered with Electrum and CryptoConvert during its pilot program to make it possible for customers to pay for items via the Bitcoin lightning network.
South Africa appears to be making headway when it comes to the adoption of cryptocurrency in the African region. In October, South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) amended its financial advisory to define crypto assets in the country as financial products, making it possible for cryptocurrencies to be offered by both domestic and international South-African licensed financial service providers.
Chainalysis’ 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index, published in September, also ranked South Africa 30th worldwide for cryptocurrency adoption. Various estimates support the notion that about 10-13% of the South African population are crypto holders.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.