John McAfee is a computer programmer, cryptocurrency enthusiast, sometime U.S. presidential candidate and the founder of McAfee Associates, which developed McAfee, the first commercial antivirus software.

In May 2016, McAfee joined MGT Capital Investments as the company’s chief executive chairman and chief executive officer. The company originally operated fantasy sports and gaming sites but later shifted its focus to cryptocurrency mining and cybersecurity under McAfee. McAfee and MGT ended their relationship in 2018. Both parties claimed the split was “amicable.”

McAfee was hired as the CEO of enterprise blockchain startup Luxcore in 2018. After nine months, Luxcore announced McAfee would resign from his position as CEO.  McAfee also acted as a paid promoter for companies holding initial coin offerings (ICOs) until 2018, when he announced he would cease to work on or promote the sales as a result of “threats” he claimed to have received from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In June 2019, McAfee launched Magic, a cryptocurrency trading platform that allows users to trade on multiple platforms using a single dashboard. During the same month, McAfee announced he would launch his own cryptocurrency, Freedom Coin, in autumn 2019. In July 2019, McAfee offered to build a cryptocurrency for Cuba for trade purposes.

Beyond the cryptocurrency industry, McAfee dabbled in American politics. He ran for president in 2016, first through his self-created party “the Cyber Party” and later through the Libertarian Party, and ran on a platform focused on privacy from the government. McAfee accepted bitcoin donations through a BitPay throughout his campaign. In 2018, McAfee announced he would enter the 2020 presidential race in order to “best serve the cryptocurrency community.”

In June 2021, a report was issued by Spanish authorities announcing John Mcafee was found dead in a Barcelona prison cell. He was being held in preparation for extradition to the United States facing a possible 10-year sentence for tax evasion. The cause of death was an alleged suicide, however, some believe something more sinister took place. Mcafee posted a tweet two years before his death stating he had received direct threats from U.S officials they were going to kill himself and make it look like a suicide. In response, he decided to get a tattoo on his arm saying “whack’d.”

Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: “We’re coming for you McAfee! We’re going to kill yourself”. I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whackd. Check my right arm.

This article was originally published on May 20, 2020 at 7:05 p.m. UTC


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

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.