Nikolai Mushegian – an early contributor to MakerDAO – has been found dead at 29 after reportedly drowning at sea in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The developer was known within the crypto community for supporting multiple projects and technologies, with some calling him the “DAI architect.”
The local news outlet El Nuevo Dia confirmed Mushegian’s death on Friday, revealing he’d been “swept away by sea currents” at Conando Beach in San Juan.
The beach’s strong undercurrents give it a reputation as a dangerous place to swim, having killed 8 people in 2021 alone.
Police were informed of Mushegian’s death on Friday morning, according to a police report. It stated that he was a resident of San Juan and that by the time his body was found, he had no vital signs.
Crypto Twitter offered praise for Mushegian’s accomplishments and contributions after rumors of his death emerged over the weekend.
Nikolai was the developer who saved MakerDAO from being hacked the same way TheDAO had been hacked through a robust audit six years ago. https://t.co/BbDBXc8nHv
— Craig Sellars 🌈🗽 (@OmniCraig) October 29, 2022
On Monday, MakerDAO founder and CEO Rune Christensen said that Maker would have been “toast” without Mueshegian’s help.
“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.”
The following day, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson credited the developer as “a very young and extremely bright man,” with a “deep understanding of technology.”
Mushegian was highly active on social media, but drew concern the day before his death after posting a tweet about being targeted by a Puerto Rico sex-trafficking ring, and that they would “torture him to death.” Less than two months prior, he claimed he might be “suicided by the CIA” in the future.
MakerDAO’s Big Changes
As Tether co-creator Craig Sellers noted on Twitter, Mushegian’s death comes less than a week after MakerDAO approved a $1.6 billion USDC custodian partnership with Coinbase.
Maker also recently converted $500 million worth of its reserve assets into U.S. Treasuries and Bonds, mimicking other top stablecoins in its transition toward traditionally safer forms of debt.
Not all has been well within the project’s community, however. Its recently passed “Endgame” proposals, which were promoted by its founder Christensen, have split the organization in two.
The Endgame plan is a vast restructuring plan for MakerDAO that seeks to ensure its maximal decentralization and growth over the next ten years.
“The Endgame Plan is an exceptionally bad proposal, and it’s really sad for Maker that it passed the signal (shoved through by Rune Christensen singlehandedly in face of strong and justified criticism),” tweeted Hasu – a pseudonymous researcher at Paradigm on Tuesday.
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