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John McAfee and the bitcoin beach broadside

The death of John McAfee in a Spanish prison cell ends a flamboyant and colourful life.


The passing of John McAfee, the antivirus software magnate turned libertarian rebel, puts us in mind of the time Euromoney went to see him speak at a bitcoin conference on a beach in Thailand.

As we reported in ‘Up bit creek’ in 2018, the conference happened to coincide with a plunge in the cryptocurrency, but McAfee, a keynote speaker, was not deterred.

In his 20 minutes on stage, he took the opportunity to call the US dollar a fraud, advocate the decriminalization of marijuana, call 90% of crypto white papers scams, talk about a new scheme to help a collective of US prostitutes develop their own token system, and to attack Jamie Dimon, the US government, every other government as well, and all of banking.

We reported: “‘I spent two months evading an entire army in central America,’ he says in a low baritone, sounding and even looking a bit like Chuck Norris. ‘Do you think angry words are going to bother me?’”


In the end, it was not the central American army – that of Belize, which was searching for him after his neighbour there was found shot dead, before he was instead arrested in Guatemala – that did for him.


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