SpiritSwap, a decentralized exchange (DEX) built on smart contract platform Fantom, will wind down operations starting Sept. 1, citing exposure to troubled Chinese cross-chain protocol Multichain.
In the Aug. 9 announcement via Discord, developers revealed that the Multichain hack left SpiritSwap’s entire treasury drained and, therefore, “without the means to finance essential aspects of our operation,” including operational costs, salaries and marketing. The team said it is looking for “a team to take over” the DEX by Sept. 1. If no change of ownership occurs by then, the DEX says it will cease operations entirely.
Founded in 2021, SpiritSwap had been one of the popular DEXs on Fantom before the onset of the cryptocurrency bear market. Its total value locked (TVL) reached an all-time high of $374 million in January 2022 but now stands at $2.92 million at the time of publication, having fallen further due to the Multichain incident.
After months of speculation, Multichain’s developers disclosed that co-founder and CEO Zhanojung He was arrested by Chinese police in May on unknown charges. He allegedly held all access to Multichain private keys and servers when he was detained. Despite a lack of information on his detention, funds belonging to Multichain and its users have been swapped for stablecoins as well as private coins and transferred out of the protocol. Some victims have since alleged that the Chinese police are involved in an elaborate embezzlement scheme involving users’ funds.
Multichain was Fantom’s cross-chain protocol of choice before the incident. A mix of seized funds and capital flight caused Fantom’s TVL to drop from $364 million in early May to $72 million at the time of publication. Previously, Fantom’s lending protocol Geist Finance announced it would shut down due to exposure to Multichain.
— The Fantom Ecologist (@ftm_ecologist) August 9, 2023