John McAfee Offers to Build Cuba's First Cryptocurrency

The tech guru wants to be Cuba's crypto advisor.

AccessTimeIconJul 9, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 9:24 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The cybersecurity expert and tech entrepreneur John McAfee recently declared his willigness to work with Cuba's government as a crypto advisor.

McAfee declared his intentions soon after Cuba's government officials revealed their intention to develop a cryptocurrency to be used to avoid economic sanctions imposed by United States.

According to Reuters, McAfee assured that the cryptocurrency project is not only viable, but rather simple. So simple, in fact, that he even offered his guidance pro bono.

“It would be trivial to get around the U.S. government’s embargo through the use of a clever system of currency. So I made a formal offer to help them for free on a private channel... through Twitter,” he said.


The use of cryptocurrency to get around US sanctions is an idea that seems directly inspired by Venezuela's efforts to create its own digital currency for trade. However, McAfee blames past failures on false expectations .

“You can’t just create a coin and expect it to fly," he said.

According to the tech guru, the key to Cuba's successful development of a cryptocurrency is to adapt it to its reality as a country.

"You have to base it on the proper blockchain, have it structured such that it meets the specific needs of a country or economic situation,” McAfee said.

A Fair Trade

McAfee's interest in helping the Cuban government develop a cryptocurrency is based on the programmers own ideals of freedom and his time spent in Havana.

McAffee also plans to run as a Libertarian Party presidential candidate for the 2020 US elections from the island and will extend his tourist visa indefinitely. It hasn't been confirmed if Cuba's government has accepted McAfee's proposal. However, that hasn't stopped him from repeatedly applying for the job.

“There are probably less than 10 people in the world who know [create a cryptocurrency] and I’m certainly one of them,” he said.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.