Crypto’s Year of Deaths Unveils Eerie Patterns

Mysterious crypto deaths have occurred more often than ever since last Halloween. And they have a few things in common.

Crypto death stands above a tiny grave with a tea light candle next to it.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin

A lot has changed in the cryptoverse since last Halloween. Icons have fallen, and new ones have emerged. And some feel that a kind of Pandora’s Box has been opened since then, with death literally stepping into the crypto world. 

The past twelve months have witnessed a significant increase in mysterious murders and deaths related to digital currencies. On the threshold of Halloween, it’s time to remember those who have passed and the similarities surrounding the victims and their demises.

The Chilling Statistics

Last Halloween, the cryptocurrency market suffered from bloodshed. By the end of October 2022, its capitalization struggled under $1 trillion and sat at lows not seen for almost 22 months. That was when the crypto realm faced the first in a series of mysterious deaths. 


It began with the drowning of a 29-year-old early founding member of MakerDAO, Nikolai Mushegian, whose body was found in the waters of Puerto Rico. Then Javier Biosca, Spain’s controversial cryptocurrency broker, fell from a hotel window less than 50 kilometers from Gibraltar. 

Days later, Swedish-Chinese entrepreneur Tiantian Kullander was found dead in his Hong Kong apartment. The 30-year-old former investment bank trader and founder of Asia’s largest digital asset management company, Amber Group, died in his sleep. 

At the end of November, Russian billionaire Vyacheslav Taran was killed in a helicopter crash in southern France. In the last days of 2022, Park Mo, the 53-year-old vice president of Bithumb’s largest shareholder, jumped off a building in Seoul, South Korea.


As the new year began, the strange deaths temporarily ceased. However, in early April, the crypto world was shaken by news of the fatal stabbing of Bob Lee. Cash App’s early dev and chief product officer at MobileCoin was knifed in the chest on a deserted street in San Francisco.

A married couple was incriminated in sponsoring the murder of a 48-year-old woman in Seoul’s Gangnam district around the same time. The victim, whose body was found a few days earlier, ran numerous cryptocurrency companies.

In May, a young and wealthy Chinese couple, 25-year-old cryptocurrency trader Li Chiming and his girlfriend, popular social media influencer Cheng Jianan, were brutally murdered at a luxury hotel in Bali. 

The same month, OnfoCoin founder John Forsyth was reported missing in the US. A kayaker accidentally found the body of the well-known crypto millionaire a week later in a lake in Arkansas. He had sustained gunshot wounds.

The remote location by Lake Beaver in Arkansas, where John Forsyth’s body was found.
The remote location by Lake Beaver in Arkansas, where John Forsyth’s body was found. Source: Google Maps

During the summer months of 2023, news of two more brutal crypto murders broke. Fernando Pérez Algaba, a crypto millionaire and Instagram influencer, was shot, dismembered, and stuffed in a suitcase while visiting Argentina at the end of July.

Finally, the Bulgarian-American crypto investor and socialite Christian Peev tragically met his end in early August. The remains of the 41-year-old were discovered in the sewers of Sofia, Bulgaria.

The fact that eleven individuals closely connected to the cryptocurrency space died within just one year is far from ordinary. While mysterious deaths have shaken the crypto world in the past, they were isolated incidents rather than macabre epidemics. However, everything changed around Halloween 2022.

The Haunting Time Pattern

Many of the above-mentioned victims passed away within a close timeframe, specifically between November 2022 and May 2023. This recurring coincidence brings to mind the spooky phenomenon known as the Halloween Effect.

Tracing its roots to 16th-century London, the Halloween Effect is a well-known theory among financial circles. Based on the anomaly of the markets’ seasonal changes, it states that the highest returns start in October and diminish in April, leaving May flat.

The theory mostly stems from the historical practice of stock market brokers leaving their trading desks for their summer residences in May. 

In the crypto space, the notion of May being the fatal month for traders has also proved true. Over the past five years, the value of the crypto market has increased only twice: in 2019 and 2020, when it coincided with the last Bitcoin halving.

However, four crypto deaths around November 2022 and four others in April and May raised questions about those particular months. What dramatic events were happening in the markets at that time, and can they be somehow related to an increased number of crypto-related deaths? 

The Dark Aftermath

Sam Bankman-Fried FTX’s crash in November last year marked a tectonic shift and triggered a ripple effect across the crypto space. As FTX was linked to various crypto exchanges and projects through trading, investments, or lending, when it faced problems, its connections were suddenly also affected. 

Mass fund withdrawals turned into steep price declines for numerous coins, exchanges, and lenders. Crypto projects and investors worldwide were unexpectedly pushed into extreme survival mode, dealing with the dreadful consequences. 

Tiantian Kullander’s crypto manager, Amber Group, halted its $100 million funding round and cut its workforce by half days after FTX collapsed. The company used to be an active trader on the FTX crypto derivatives exchange.  

Bithumb’s largest shareholder, Vidente, whose vice president Park Mo killed himself in Seoul, was in discussions to sell their stake to FTX and was badly hurt after the exchange crumbled. The company’s shares plunged to their lowest point since 2015, a month after FTX imploded.

During the spring, when MobileCoin’s CPO Bob Lee was fatally attacked on the streets of San Francisco, and both John Forsyth and the young Chinese crypto couple were mysteriously killed, the crypto market continued to grapple with low trading activity and the general uncertainty the macroeconomic landscape kept bringing in. 

The Fatal Habit

Another similarity that connected at least four of the crypto world’s victims of the past year was their mutual preference for luxurious lifestyles, which they displayed on social media.

Javier Biosca, Spain’s allegedly biggest cryptocurrency fraudster, was notorious for extravagant parties. The victim regularly showcased a successful and wealthy lifestyle, often to impress new investors and make business deals. 

Fernando Perez Algaba, the influencer whose body was found in a suitcase in Argentina, had a following of more than 923,000 followers on Instagram. The 41-year-old made a fortune by selling expensive sports cars and trading and advertising digital currencies. He became a crypto millionaire, drawing the attention of the masses with his lavish way of living.

Fernando Perez Algaba regularly shared pictures of luxurious sports cars and crypto trading charts with over 900K Instagram followers.
Fernando Perez Algaba regularly shared pictures of luxurious sports cars and crypto trading charts with over 900K Instagram followers. Source: Instagram 

25-year-old Li Chimin, killed in an upscale Bali resort together with his girlfriend, resembled the perfect social media couple. He was a young and wealthy crypto investor, and she was a successful social media influencer, documenting their lives with thousands of followers. 

Cristian Peev, an American cryptocurrency miner and trader of Bulgarian origin, regularly attended high-society parties both in the US and in Europe. 

According to local media reports, at one such party, he met a suspect in his murder, a bartender who became Peev’s friend. Both men originally planned to do crypto business together. However, things took a different turn. The police’s theory suggests the friend allegedly killed Peev because he was jealous of his wealth.

Extravagant private parties also proved fatal for Cash App founder Bob Lee, who amassed his fortune as a crypto pioneer and was known for spending money on fun, parties, and drugs. 

Before his death in August 2023, Lee was an active participant in the San Francisco underground swinger party scene and was possibly killed by the brother of one of his partners.

Deaths of Wealthy and High-Profile 

The final pattern that stands out when talking about deaths in the crypto world is that the absolute majority of them were high-profile millionaires. 

Well-known, prominent, famous. All these individuals generated their wealth in different ways. Some accumulated their fortune through early investments in cryptocurrencies, which saw significant value appreciation over the years. Others became early miners or made incredible profits through trading. Some found crypto-related startups, eventually expanding them into million and billion-worth enterprises.

With cryptocurrency being a volatile asset class whose value has meteorically risen over the past decade, it is not a surprise that the space has minted a long list of millionaires over time. 

As per the recent World’s Crypto Wealth Report, 88,200 people possess at least $1 million in digital assets. This is not insignificant when taken separately, although overall, crypto millionaires make up only 0.02% of the 425 million people owning digital currencies.

The Bottom Line

Interestingly, while cryptocurrencies link all crime victims, digital assets were not always the direct cause of their deaths. In many cases, the victims’ cold wallets were not even stolen from the crime scene.

Yet more than ten people associated with digital assets have lost their lives in just the last year. Death has become a common commodity in the crypto realm after the dramatic FTX crash. Will the pattern continue?

Find out more about other scariest moments in crypto:
Overcoming Crypto’s Scariest Moments in 2023

Learn how crypto signal trading schemes lure victims on Telegram: 
“Sell on My Signal:” Crypto Trading Scheme Revealed

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Simona Ram

Simona Ram is a senior journalist at DailyCoin, based in Lithuania, who covers the forces and people shaping the Web3 industry and the areas where decentralized crypto assets meet the centralized world. She has experience in business communication within the financial sphere and has a degree in Foreign Languages, which helps her interact effectively with sources from diverse backgrounds. In her free time, Simona enjoys exploring new cultures.