News - Multichain stops operations after CEO Zhaojun's disappearance

By Luc Vesters

Multichain stops operations after CEO Zhaojun's disappearance

Multichain, a major blockchain startup, has announced it will cease operations. The decision comes after the company's founder and CEO, Zhaojun, was taken from his home by Chinese police on May 21, 2023. Since then, the Multichain team has had no contact with Zhaojun or any other team member with access to the servers.

The Multichain team reported that the operational keys to the MPC node servers were revoked by Zhaojun when he was taken away by police. These servers were all running under Zhaojun's personal cloud server account. The Multichain team did not have access to Zhaojun's cloud server account and, as a result, did not have access to the MPC servers.

This situation was exacerbated by the fact that the police seized Zhaojun's computers, phones, hardware wallets and mnemonic phrases, leaving all investments and operating funds under the control of Zhaojun and the police. The Multichain team made every effort to continue project activities with the restricted access to some non-MPC servers that had not yet been revoked.

According to Multichain's attorney, the team adopted a responsible approach by complying with Zhaojun's family's requests as much as possible and adhering to the requirements of local laws and regulations. The team did not disclose any unauthorized information about the case to the public.

Help from Zhaojun family unsuccessful

On May 30, Multichain made the news of Zhaojun's disappearance public and informed the community of the technical problems the company was facing. On June 4, Zhaojun's family managed to log into the cloud server platform using the historical information on his home computer. Still, the family granted only limited access to the Multichain team to resolve technical issues.

On July 7, however, user assets locked on the MPC addresses were abnormally transferred to unknown addresses. According to Zhaojun's sister, login credentials from an IP address in Kunming were found on the cloud server platform, as well as a series of operations to transfer funds from the MPC addresses.

On July 9, it was reported that Zhaojun's sister transferred the remaining user assets in the router pool to EOA addresses controlled by herself. However, on July 13, police also took Zhaojun's sister into custody. The Multichain team reported that it did not have alternative sources of information or the necessary operational funds, forcing it to cease operations.

What now?

The domain account for cannot be redirected or taken down by the Multichain team. The team asks users to stop using the Multichain service. If there are new developments, the Multichain team will notify the community.

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