How Are There Three Dead Crypto Titans in Three Weeks?

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Among all the drama surrounding the Sam Bankman Fried/FTX cryptocurrency catastrophe and his subsequent arrest, incarceration, and release, many people on social media and in our comments section joked that Bankman Fried (also known as SBF) might go the way Jeffrey Epstein, namely see his life end in a suspicious suicide. There are many politicians, celebrities, and financial professionals with eggs on their faces at the moment, and they wouldn’t mind seeing this problem disappear.

SBF’s fate or the mysterious failure of the cameras at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York just outside Epstein’s cell, in 2019, is something I will not speculate on. Epstein was at that time their most prominent inmate. While I was researching crypto to write about the latest mega-scammer I discovered an odd coincidence. Three crypto titans died in strange circumstances during a three-week span this fall.

You are eligible for the News Junkie Award of the Day if you knew about it. Your prize will be sent to you. Despite being a voracious news reader, I completely missed it.

To wit:

Vyacheslav Taran was the co-founder of Forex Club and Libertex, a trading and investment platform. He died in a helicopter accident near Monaco on 29 November. His companies were successful and he was accused of fraud. The 53-year-old father of three was only traveling with the pilot. However, France Bleu, a radio network, reported that they had originally scheduled a second passenger to fly with them. But, this was canceled at the last moment. Hmm.

Ronco’s famous Ronco ads said, “Wait!” There’s more! Tiantian Kullander was the founder of the digital currency trading platform Amber Group. It is estimated that Amber Group is worth $3 billion. He died in his sleep on November 23. It sounds normal, except that he was only 30 years old.

Nikolai Mushegian (co-founder of the cryptocurrency lending platform MakerDAO), drowned in a Puerto Rican river just hours after tweeting that his suspicions about U.S. intelligence agencies plotting to kill him were shared by Twitter. Because he had a history of mental problems, his family does not believe he committed foul play.

This story bears a strong resemblance to an article I wrote back in September. Eight Russian oil executives, many of them connected to Gazprom state-owned, died in mysterious circumstances in 2022. One was found hanging from a window, one was found dead in Spain, his wife and daughter were also stabbed to death and many others were declared a suicide. While one or two of these might be explicable, eight is more likely.

There are many conspiracy theories floating around Twitter. I won’t go into them here. They are not completely implausible, but I do believe they can be believed. Jeffrey Epstein was a billionaire with a lot of influence and who was well-respected by the elite.

Although I don’t understand what is going on, logic tells me that there must be something. Eleven prominent, successful Russian men died in their prime years. Although it is possible to conjecture that Vladimir Putin orders the assassinations of people who are annoying him, that’s only speculation.

One thing is certain, although I might not be a billionaire right now, I am glad that I am not a Russian gas exec or crypto king.