Late Friday afternoon, decentralized finance investigator Zachxbt published a series of tweets accusing Omar Zaki of hiding behind the facade of "0xbrainjar," the anonymous head of product at Composable Finance.
From last November to this February, Composable Finance raised over $167 million through seed funding, as well as crowdloan auctions on the Polkadot (DOT) and Kusama (KSM) parachains. Over 9,000 participants contributed to the DOT crowdloan alone.
Zachxbt cited documents from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission showing that Omar Zaki, then a 21-year-old New York resident and graduate of Yale University with a bachelor's degree in physics and economics, settled with the SEC over allegations of misleading investors, resulting in a civil penalty of $25,000. In addition, two crypto projects allegedly run by Zaki, Warp Finance and Force DAO, allegedly suffered hacks resulting in $8.367 million in lost funds — some of which were partially recovered.
The DeFi investigator allegedly linked the two identities together by first creating a burner Telegram account to message both Zaki’s personal and anonymous account, where both messages were "read at the same exact time." Then, Zachxbt reached out to individuals who "confirmed the anon identity link to Yale and a physics/economics background." Finally, a phone number was claimed by Zachxbt to be linked to the developer's name, but it's unclear how it connects Zaki's identity with 0xbrainjar.
Zachxbt is renowned in the blockchain community for his sleuthing skills in unmasking the history behind anonymous developers of DeFi projects. Last month, the DeFi sleuth correctly uncovered that the co-founder of defunct exchange QuadrigaCX, Michael Patryn, held the position of chief financial officer at Wonderland. Just a few days later, the Avalanche-based reserve currency shut down after negative publicity surrounding the unmasking caused a sharp divide in the community.
This story is developing and will be updated as more details emerge.
Update: 19:17 ET Feb. 19, 2022. The headline and text of this article have been updated to note that Omar Zaki was not convicted of any crime and that he settled with the SEC in 2019.