Antivirus Mogul and Popular Cryptocurrency Showman John McAfee Dies Aged 75
As per reports by Spanish newspaper El Pais, John McAfee, a pioneering cybersecurity expert and crypto booster, was found dead in his Barcelona jail cell on Wednesday. Preliminary reports from the Spanish justice department point to suicide.
The renowned developer and programmer were awaiting extradition to the U.S. on tax evasion charges before his passing. He also faced fraud allegations related to pump and dump schemes involving digital assets. In addition, the U.S. SEC accused him of hiding crypto revenue of over $23M, charges which carried a sentence of up to 30 years behind bars.
Despite the U.S. government’s allegations that McAfee held millions in undisclosed crypto income, the antivirus tycoon insisted that he had no hidden crypto. In one of his last tweets, McAfee wrote:
“The U.S. believes I have hidden crypto. I wish I did, but it has dissolved through the many hands of Team McAfee (your belief is not required), and my remaining assets are all seized.”
McAfee was acknowledged in many circles as a tech genius, although he also had other labels, including alleged tax evader, high-profile fugitive, and ex-presidential candidate.
The software pioneer was a pivotal figure in the computing world, developing the McAfee antivirus in 1987 to combat the first-known computer virus. He later formed McAfee Associates, a firm that dominated the commercial antivirus sector for years.
McAfee’s Contribution to the Crypto Space
The crypto community will remember McAfee for his strong libertarian philosophy that made him a natural crypto supporter. That firm belief in financial freedom led the entrepreneur to create his own privacy-focused cryptocurrency dubbed the “McAfee Freedom Coin” in June 2019. In addition, he regularly took to Twitter and other platforms to support bitcoin and other crypto assets.
McAfee made a bold prediction back in 2017, where he declared that the king coin was going to “moon” and would hit $500K within three years. The crypto proponent doubled down on his prediction last year, claiming that BTC would reach $1 million by the end of 2020.
At the height of the ICO boom in 2017, McAfee took on the ‘crypto promoter’ mantle. He reportedly earned $100K for a single tweet recommending any given crypto project to his 1.2 million Twitter followers. At one point, the tech genius got a “Skycoin” tattoo on his back in what was seen as one of his most dramatic coin-shilling acts.
The ICO promotion endeavor landed McAfee in hot water with U.S. authorities, who alleged that he earned “millions in income” from illegally advertising various crypto-related projects.
McAfee’s Renewed Purpose In Decentralized Tech
The controversial technologist tried his hand at many ventures during his lifetime. Over the decades, his career moved from various sectors, including software, anti-surveillance tech, and even antibiotics.
However, in the later years of his life, McAfee found renewed passion in the budding decentralized technology sector. In 2014, he founded ‘Future Tense,’ a company dedicated to developing decentralized networking solutions.
He later served as the head of MGT Capital Investments and turned the startup’s focus on crypto mining and gaming. McAfee’s interest in decentralized tech culminated in him joining the enterprise blockchain firm Luxcore in 2018.