Blockchain Industry Profiles: John McAfee
The Blockchain industry is the modern day wild west. Titanic fortunes can be made and lost in record time, and relatively unknown coins can rise and fall quicker than you can say cryptocurrency. However, this new market is a huge new platform for those who are able to innovate and create valuable products and services for the horde of new adopters getting involved. This series focuses on those bold entrepreneurs and innovators.
John McAfee, father of McAfee Antivirus, CEO of MGT Capital, and an active figure in the cryptocurrency world, released a tweet on December 13th 2017 that showcased just how much the cryptomarket can be influenced by the endorsement of key figures.
The tweet, coming out in favor of privacy coins including the better-known Monero and ZCash, but crucially including Verge, stated that these were the currencies worth investing in as they “couldn`t lose”.
Following the market-shaking tweet, the Little-known currency, Verge, rocketed from less than a cent going into December to an all-time high of $0.27 on Christmas Eve of 2017. Put in other words, if you had invested just $117 dollars in Verge at its peak, you´d be a millionaire. A market appreciation that many believed was driven in no small part by John McAfee´s endorsement.
The meteoric rise of Verge ended on New Year´s Eve, but not before McAfee made further claims about the currency – suggesting on his Instagram profile that it could reach $15 by June 2018. While such speculation never manifested itself in reality and was subsequently denied by McAfee ( Verge plummeted shortly after it cameo out that key-upgrades were not ready on time), it shows the power of what would go on to be called the “McAfee effect”.
The extent of John McAfee´s influence and reach was such that although his influence couldn´t overcome the instability of the cryptomarket, the momentum created by his tweets resulted in a mad rush that led to a direct appreciation in the value of Verge and any other coin he touted as the next big thing. He said buy, and oh boy they bought! Of course, this kind of volatility, hype and potential manipulation isn’t ideal for the market but it just goes to show how young this industry is and how influential a small group of people are in this space.
The software tycoon has been embroiled in controversies and legal battles that contribute to the colourful history of this eccentric individual. We can add the recent Verge phenomenen to the pages of this veritable legend, who has been emboiled in scandals throughout his career, most famously in Belize after reportedly creating antibiotics in a lab that was suspected to be a producer of methamphetamines.
Despite the significant decline of the so-called “McAfee Effect”, there are few influencers as powerful as McAfee in the cryptocurrency world. He continues to expand his business in cyber security and the blockchain, setting up a cryptocurrency market centre in August of 2018. This kind of continued investment and innovation must have been a comfort to many during the bear market of 2018 with the incessant barrage of FUD and misery in the crypto media.
At the present time, McAfee remains a very active figure on Twitter, giving advice on ICO´s and exerting a signifigant amount of influence on market sentiment in general. So far, nothing has come close to the wild rollercoaster that saw Verge peaking at a market value of $0.27, and the legendary persona of John McAfee to be a god-like figure for many. Readers be warned that McAfee occasionally shares content that is NSFW (albeit very entertaining).
Given the strength of his very public persona (he even ran for president a couple of years ago!) there is no limit to what John McAfee will come up with next. Be it cryptocurrency or elsewhere. The crucial thing is that people are listening, and he knows it. Get the popcorn ready…