Who is John McAfee? Interesting guest post about one of our favourite crypto influencers, article first appeared here.
The founder of Ethershift, Josh Case, went and spent a night at Johns house to find out. In this personal narrative, Josh vividly explains his experience.
The cryptocurrency industry is full of a variety of characters. Anarchists, libertarians, security experts, people trying to bring about a financial revolution, and people trying to stop that exact revolution. Then there is John Mcafee.
John’s first claim to fame was in the 80s with McAfee Associates, the software company he founded which was later acquired by Intel. After a variety of other ventures, McAfee started a company called QuorumEx, headquartered in Belize, which aimed to create all natural antibiotics based on anti-quorum sensing technology.
After being wanted for questioning about the suspicious murder of one of his neighbors, John fled Belize, crossed the border into Guatemala, faked a heart attack, and was eventually deported back to the United States. John claimed innocence the entire time, and the Belizean government never charged or tried to charge him with any crimes. John led a reasonably quiet life over the next couple of years, until he started tweeting about cryptocurrency.
In July of 2017, with Bitcoin’s price just a little above $2,000 John made a public bet on Twitter. The price of Bitcoin will be $500,000 by the end of 2020 or he will eat his own dick on live tv. He later upped his prediction to 1 million. After tons of media attention, John cemented himself as one of the biggest cryptocurrency influencers. And influence he did.
I have been in this industry for a couple years and have been following John’s story for longer than that.
I wanted to find out exactly who John McAfee really was, behind all the Twitter drama; so, I emailed his manager, Jimmy. I was really excited when he invited me to come stay the night. Jimmy let me know up front that they would not give me the address to the house until the day of the meeting, and all my belongings would be searched as soon as I arrived. I obliged and set up the meeting for a few weeks out.
The day before I was supposed to leave, I texted Jimmy to try and get better directions. He would only give me the town name and would tell me to text him when I was closer. I loved the secrecy displayed throughout this entire process.
The 6-hour drive from my house to Johns flew by. So many questions were rattling around in my head as I listened to previous interviews he had done. I wanted to ask questions no one ever had ever asked before. I wanted to see the real John.
My phone buzzed, and I noticed Jimmy sent me the address. This is it.
I reached a small town in Tennessee and my map lead me to a really high-end secluded neighborhood. Driving past all the houses, I wonder to myself who all these people are. Do they know John McAfee lives a few houses down? Why this town? Why Tennessee? I reach a cul-de-sac and arrive at my destination. The house is huge. Nice cars fill the driveway.
There’s nowhere to park that doesn’t leave me blocking someone, so I awkwardly park at the top of the driveway. I knew they were going to search my stuff so I made sure to clean out my car before-hand to make it easy. As I headed in, I brought my backpack, a few bottles of whiskey, and some weed. I hope they don’t care about the weed, I thought to myself.
I text Jimmy, and let him know I’m here. As I’m waiting for his reply, I noticed he hasn’t been online in a while. Sigh, I guess I have to ring the doorbell. I lug all my stuff up to his front door and give it a ring. 2 very big tough looking dudes answer the door and asked if I was here to do an interview. I said yes and they asked if they could search my stuff. They let me know right away they don’t care if I have weed, so we were all good on that front.
They let me in and asked me to sit in a front room for a little while because John was currently in meetings with some other people. In the room next to me I could hear John wining and dining politicians and lawyers, and on his way to the bathroom he saw me and introduced himself. His handshake was very firm and he politely apologized for being busy, and told me to help myself to anything I want. I knew this was going to be a really interesting night.
I sat in the front room with one of John’s bodyguards, and he told me a lot of interesting things about his past. He was a super nice and cool guy, and he told me some crazy stories.
I could hear it winding down in the room next to me as everyone began to get up and shake hands. Within a few minutes, everyone that didn’t live in the house had left. John invited me into the main living area and introduced me to the other people in his house. Each one of them had their own unique and amazing story, and each of them was carrying a gun.
We decide to not to do the real interview until the next day, so it’s not long until we’re all drinking whiskey and having conversations that range from cryptocurrency and politics to the meaning of life and suspenders. Suspenders?
Oh yes. John loves suspenders.
It’s as if John had memorized the suspenders Wikipedia, because the next 15 minutes he rattled off fact, after fact, about the history and functionality of suspenders. “A belt cuts off your blood flow!” He said with gleaming passion. “All wise men know this, they all do!”
I am utterly blown away by all of this. How can John talk so eloquently about something so seemingly mundane as suspenders? John leaves the room for a moment and comes out with a box. No way is John giving me a pair of brand new suspenders right now. Does he just have tons of them in a room somewhere in case he needs to introduce someone to this new way of living? This is absurd. My mind is racing, I’m drunk, and this is all too funny.
I need a smoke break. Um do you guys want to smoke some weed?
They pass but lead me to a bedroom where a friend and I smoke a few bowls. We try to keep the smell down by ghosting the hits, but this weed is too dank. I’m sure the entire house smelled absolutely crazy. I kept having the thought of how weird it is that I’m in John McAfee’s guest bedroom, making his entire house stink of weed. Weird world. With a lovely new buzz, we head back out to the party, where they’re setting up a big speaker.
The tunes are cranking and John is putting on genres of music I’ve never even heard before. hey were amazing. On softer songs, without words, Johns provided a lot of commentary out loud. John spoke like a teacher and it was amazing to see him in his element. It wasn’t long until everyone was hugging and yelling we are one… and no, I’m not exaggerating. This happened. Around 5 AM, everyone decided they better get some sleep.
It was a wild night for me, but something told me that, for John, it was just a random Tuesday.
Josh is the founder of Ethershift, an exchange dedicated to promoting trade without forcing traders to give up private information. With the launch of Ethershift, he aims to make trading easy, secure, and convenient for traders.
— EtherShift (@ethershiftco) November 12, 2018