The Multichain Saga: Secret Arrests, Suspicious Exploit, and a $1.5B Controversy
- Chinese decentralized cross-chain bridge protocol, Multichain, announced that it will cease operations after its co-founder and CEO, Zhao Jun, was allegedly arrested by Chinese police alongside his sister.
- Concerns arose when Multichain users reported delays in fund transfers, which the company attributed to a backend node upgrade.
- Co-founders of Multichain attempted to dismiss rumors of Zhao Jun’s arrest and assure users that their assets were safe.
- Unauthorized withdrawals totaling over $100 million were observed from Multichain’s Fantom Ethereum bridge, raising suspicions of a possible hack.
- Zhao Jun’s sister reportedly transferred the remaining assets as an “asset preservation action” before being arrested herself.
- With the arrest of the co-founders and their control over the project’s assets and operations, Multichain’s development team is unable to continue.
- The reason for Zhao Jun’s arrest and the charges against him are still unknown, but under Chinese law, seized funds may be considered proceeds of crime.
Binance Fires Staff on its Sixth Anniversary
- Crypto exchange Binance celebrated its sixth anniversary while secretly laying off a significant number of employees, reportedly up to 1,000 out of a total of 8,000.
- The layoffs primarily affected global and customer service sectors, with ongoing reorganization as the reason.
- Binance is facing challenges from an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation, which is likely a factor in the layoffs.
- Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao responded to the reports, stating that the numbers reported by the media were exaggerated and that the company is still hiring.
- In a follow-up report, it was revealed that Binance had stopped reimbursing employees for various expenses, citing the current market environment and regulatory climate.
- Binance is currently facing legal action from the U.S. SEC and CFTC for offering unregistered securities and operating an unregistered exchange in the U.S.
The Multichain saga is a reminder of the risks involved in entrusting one person or a small group with the control of billions of dollars in cryptocurrency. The lack of transparency and the potential for abuse highlight the need for decentralized and trustless systems. Meanwhile, Binance’s anniversary gift to its employees of layoffs and expense cuts reflects the challenges faced by centralized exchanges amidst regulatory scrutiny. As the crypto industry continues to evolve, it’s clear that both security and regulatory compliance will be crucial for its long-term success.