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Remembering John McAfee: Computer programmer and crypto evangelist dead at 75

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On the evening of June 23, it became known that businessman John McAfee, founder of the antivirus company McAfee, was found dead in his cell in a Spanish prison. His lawyer told that the businessman’s cause of death was suicide. Earlier in the day, the Spanish Supreme Court authorized McAfee’s extradition to the United States. The businessman detained in Spain in October 2020 at the request of the American authorities. The Justice Department and the US SEC accused him of tax evasion and illegal promotion of ICO projects. Later, articles on fraud and money laundering were added to the charges.

In mid-June, McAfee announced that he no longer had a fortune. According to him, cryptocurrency assets “gradually dissolved” thanks to members of his team. And the rest of the savings confiscated by the authorities. According to unconfirmed reports, by 2020, thanks to the promotion of cryptocurrency startups, McAfee earned 500 Bitcoins ($ 16.6 million, taking into account the current exchange rate). McAfee called the accusations of the US authorities politically motivated. He argued that if extradited to the United States, he would spend the rest of his life in prison. After being detained in Spain last year, McAfee wrote on Twitter that if he was found hanged, it would not be his fault.

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John McAfee was born in Great Britain on September 18, 1945. In 1967, he graduated from the university and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Then McAfee started programming and got a job at one of the scientific centers of NASA. He also worked for Xerox and Lockheed.

In 1987, McAfee founded McAfee Associates, which developed the antivirus software of the same name. McAfee himself left the company in 1994 and from that moment had nothing to do with it. Subsequently, the businessman called McAfee antivirus “the worst program in the world”.

McAfee and cryptocurrency

Since 2010, the businessman plunged into the world of cryptocurrency, as he actively interested in the areas of cybersecurity and data privacy. Already in 2016, he bought the developer of casual games for social networks MGT Capital and created a “cryptocurrency council” in the company.

Then the company began to engage in mining and digital asset transactions. McAfee said in an interview with Bloomberg that MGT Capital needs this not only to earn money, but also to acquire skills in working with the blockchain. Since 2017, the entrepreneur actively involved in promoting various tokens through ICOs.

The businessman often posted advertising posts on Twitter about new digital coins. He didn’t hide the fact that he publishes advertising records and receives money for it. McAfee repeatedly spotted advertising fraudulent projects.

When the head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, called the ICO an illegal investment attraction, and the tokens – unregistered securities, McAfee wrote on Twitter that he would continue to work with such projects and called the SEC’s decision absurd. However, a few days later, the entrepreneur informed the subscribers that he had stopped supporting ICO projects in connection with the recommendation of the SEC.

McAfee’s attitude towards Bitcoin has changed over time. In 2018, he called bitcoin a true “gold standard” and predicted that the first cryptocurrency would grow exponentially. Already in 2020, he retracted his words and said that only idiots could believe in his prediction.

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