The co-founder of MakerDAO is dead

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Nikolai Mushegian, 29, co-founder of MakerDAO, the largest decentralized finance protocol, was found dead Friday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to local news outlet El Nuevo Dia.

The news comes a day after Nikolai posted a series of tweets accusing intelligence agencies of human trafficking. Nikolai reportedly drowned while swimming. 

However, his last tweet predicted that he would be killed for speaking out. Many in the cryptocurrency community expressed their condolences, including Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson

Who was the co-founder of MakerDAO

According to news reports and various information received in recent days, including the Coin Bureau tweet, it appears that the body identified near Condado Beach is that of Mushegian, co-founder of MakerDAO

The man’s body was dragged by water currents near Condado Beach. By the time local patrols managed to retrieve the body from the ocean, there were no longer any vital signs. 

The area where Nikolai was found dead is known for its strong and dangerous ocean currents, which have claimed several lives, according to the local newspaper. 

Mushegian is remembered, and commemorated today by many, as a brilliant man. Indeed, beyond co-founding and developing MakerDAO, the man also helped develop multiple blockchain projects and was heralded as a prolific architect of blockchain-based decentralized financial platforms and stablecoin systems.

Notably, he was the original technical partner of MakerDAO founder Rune Christensen on the project and worked on the protocol and its decentralized stablecoin DAI between 2015 and 2018, according to his personal website.

Not only that, Nikolai had also co-founded the automated market maker Balancer and the RAI of Reflexer, an Ether-backed stablecoin and a fork of DAI.

However, it appears that he has not been involved in protocol development lately, a MakerDAO contributor told CoinDesk.

More recently, the developer was working on a crypto project called Rico, a floating decentralized stablecoin system that aimed to be the spiritual successor to DAI and was designed in such a way that DAI was originally intended to be uncompromising.

The tweet posted by Christensen on Monday reads:

“Nikolai was one of the only people in the early days of Ethereum and smart contracts who could predict the possibility of smart contract hacks and invented the security-oriented approach to smart contract design we know today. Maker would have been a toast without him.”

MakerDAO declined to provide comment out of respect for Nikolai and his family, a team spokesman said in an email.

In addition, Mushegian’s last cryptic tweet, posted only hours before his death, sparked speculation in cryptographic circles about the circumstances of his death and mental health.

The premonitory tweet by Nikolai, co-founder of MakerDAO

“The CIA, the Mossad and the pedophilia elite are managing a kind of blackmail of sex trafficking from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands. They’ll frame me with a laptop that my ex-girlfriend who was a spy dumped. They will torture me to death.”

This is what Nikolai tweeted just a few months ago. the MakerDAO co-founder predicted a possible cause that could have taken his life, noting that he could have been committed suicide by the so-called CIA, killed by brain damage by the agency, or as a slave.

Although his connections to the aforementioned law enforcement agencies and gangs are still largely unclear, Nikolai repeatedly tweeted that his life was in danger.

In early August, he mentioned that he was a threat to the central banking cartel, which is allegedly led by the Rothschilds. He also said in the tweet that he thought it was the Illuminati CIA trying to set him up.

What is MakerDAO and how it works 

MakerDAO is a project that combines a DAO with a crypto-collateralized stablecoin called DAI to create a complete DeFi ecosystem in its entirety that enables lending, savings, and more on the Ethereum blockchain.

MakerDAO is one of the largest DeFi projects in the cryptocurrency world, a DAO whose governance is controlled by the token holding company called Maker. 

On the other hand, MakerDAO is also responsible for the creation and development of the Maker protocol, the purpose of which is to enable and control the issuance of DAI, a stablecoin or currency pegged to the dollar whose impact on the crypto world today is undoubted.

All this is executed on a series of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.

How does the DeFi platform work

MakerDAO is composed of multiple parts that have different functions, which complement each other to generate the huge community that the platform represents today. 

For instance, there is the Maker protocol, which is a protocol built on smart contracts running on the Ethereum blockchain. The goal of this protocol is to enable the operation of a platform for generating and controlling a stablecoin called DAI.

In addition, the Maker protocol also manages Maker Vaults, oracles, and voting within the entire system. Maker allows control of key parameters of the system, including stablecoin fees, interest types and rates, collateral assets, among others.

This is all set up democratically, so any proposed changes must have a majority vote of MKR token holders. This prevents the protocol from falling into the hands of a few or being manipulated in some other way.

The second element that allows MakerDAO to function is its stablecoin, DAI. This stablecoin can be generated using the Maker protocol only under certain conditions decided by the community that governs the protocol. With this, DAI becomes an unbiased and decentralized stablecoin.

DAI is not just a stablecoin: it is a stablecoin that does not depend on banks and has no legal guarantees; rather, it uses cryptocurrencies as collateral. In addition, DAI can be stored in wallets that support Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard, since it is also a token of that type.

On the other hand, to create DAI, a user must block Ether (or another currency accepted by the protocol) within Maker Vaults. The Maker Vault will use said cryptocurrencies to generate a collateralized debt position (CDP) and then generate the corresponding DAI. 

However, it can also be stored as savings using a Maker protocol function called DAI Interest Rate (DSR). Hence, in this way, DAI performs the following functions: it is a store of value, a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and also a deferred payment reference. 


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