A Russian billionaire has died in a helicopter crash near the French-Italian border, marking the latest sudden death of a figure in the cryptocurrency world.
Vyacheslav Taran, 53, founder of Forex Club and president of the Libertex Group, was the sole passenger of a helicopter that crashed in Villefranche-sur-Mer this weekend, according to multiple reports.
“It is with great sadness that Libertex Group confirms the death of its co-founder and Chairman of Board of Directors, Vyacheslav Taran, after a helicopter crash,” the firm, which bills itself as a leading foreign exchange and crypto trading platform, said in a statement.
Taran was traveling in an Airbus H130 Lucerne, Switzerland, to Monaco when it crashed, according to local reports.
Both Taran and the helicopter’s 35-year-old French pilot were killed, the France Bleu radio network reported.
His death was confirmed by the Russian Embassy in Paris, Monday.
The helicopter crash is still under investigation, and authorities have not indicated any possibility of foul play. France Bleu reported that a second passenger had been scheduled to fly aboard the airbus to Monaco, but had canceled last minute.
Taran’s death is the latest of several in the cryptocurrency world.
Tiantian Kullander, the co-founder of Hong Kong-based digital asset company Amber Group, died in his sleep on November 23. He was 30.
Cryptocurrency developer Nikolai Mushegian drowned to death in October at the age of 29.
Authorities have not raised suspicion of foul play in either case.
In his passing, Taran also joins a long line of Russian billionaires who have died under mysterious circumstances this year.
Taran’s company, Forex Club — a reference to the foreign exchange global market on which currencies are traded — was stripped of its license in Russia in 2018 for allegedly ripping off investors, according to a report by Life, a pro-Kremlin Russian media outlet.
The site claimed Taran “has many dissatisfied clients and enemies in Russia, who could well get him abroad.”
Taran is survived by his wife and three children.