Multichain team cannot locate CEO, halts service for affected chains

Cross-chain protocol Multichain revealed on May 31 that its team has been unable to contact its CEO, Zhaojun, fueling rumors that the protocol’s leadership may have been arrested in China amid ongoing technical issues. 

“The team has done everything possible to maintain the protocol running, but we are currently unable to contact CEO Zhaojun and obtain the necessary server access for maintenance,” noted a Twitter thread. As reported by Cointelegraph, the protocol has experienced technical problems over the past week, with transactions delayed across multiple cross-chain bridges without a clear explanation.

According to rumors circulating on Twitter, the Chinese police arrested Multichain’s team and confiscated $1.5 billion in smart contract funds. Cointelegraph reached out to Multichain but did not receive an immediate response. As of now, the rumors remain unconfirmed.

Based on Multichain’s tweet, some protocols were affected by problems on the Router5 node, which supports connections between chains. Having been unable to contact the CEO and lacking permission to address the issue, the team suspended services for over 10 chains, including Kekchain, Public Mint, DynoChain, Redlight Chain, Dexit, Ekta, HPB, Onus, Omax, Findora and Planq.

“In order to protect the interests of our users, we have decided to suspend the corresponding cross-chain service for the affected chain on the UI,” noted the protocol’s team.

On Twitter, crypto community members pointed out that Multichain’s inability to access the server and solve the problem shows the protocol is a “backward step” from decentralization.

In response to the ongoing issues without clear explanations, Binance suspended deposits for 10 bridged tokens on the BNB Smart Chain, Fantom, Ethereum and Avalanche blockchain networks on May 25. The unexplained downtime also led the Fantom Foundation to remove 449,740 MULTI ($2.4 million) from liquidity on the decentralized exchange SushiSwap. Blockchain analytics firm Lookonchain reported $3 million worth of MULTI outflows related to smart money accounts last week.

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