When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
— Jonathan Swift
John McAfee is famous for not only developing the first commercial anti-virus program in the world, his 2016 Presidential run, dubious allegations, and problems with the law, but also for his eccentric public image. Some think he’s a genius, some think he’s insane, but both agree that he has a massive influence on the crypto community. Recently, Mr. McAfee launched a decentralized exchange called the McAfeeDex, and explained to U.Today the beauty of this technology, why governments will never approve it, and why he couldn’t do anything with it even if he cared.
U.Today: Thank you, Mr. McAfee and your wife, Janice, for accepting my interview! Are you still planning for President run in 2020? How are you planning to deal with the accusations by the IRS?
John McAfee: I’m definitely planning to run. I ran in 2016. I had the worse accusations back then. I’m not sure what those allegations were, and they don’t concern me. But the issue is that I can’t be President. I have no intention of being President. I’m John McAfee for heaven’s sake, and everybody knows that. If you actually believe that I could be President, then you’re taking too many drugs. No, I can’t be and I don’t want to be. It doesn’t matter who the President is as Presidents have no power. This whole political charade is just to amuse the citizens while the real power does whatever it wants. That real power is the power behind the two political parties.
Image via http://mcafee2020.com/
These are not elected officials. They are just people with great power who rule in America, working hand in hand with American covert agencies, the CIA, the NSA, and the Secret Service. When a President sits down, these people are looking at him like he’s nothing. He’s only there for four years and these individuals might be there for eight, but people who control things have been there for thirty or forty years. The Presidents are meaningless to them. I don’t want to be a President.
As for the allegations by the IRS, I have no idea what they are. Tell me about what they are. It's impossible to do anything in life and you can’t tell the truth without making enemies. I have enemies, and some of them are very intelligent and very creative. They have created all kinds of astonishing and well-constructed allegations over the past 25 years. I care not, it doesn’t matter.
U.Today: You tweeted that the US government and the governments of other countries should be abolished, along with the banks. Aren’t you afraid of what will happen - potential anarchy? Do you think the people are ready? The vast majority of people are unaware of cryptocurrency. Is it not premature to eliminate fiat money and replace it with Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency?
John McAfee: I’ve never said that we don’t need a government. We do. I’m not an anarchist. I’m a libertarian. It’s just that every single person and every single bureaucrat in our current government needs to be gone and replaced. I don’t care by whom. Because the only experience these people have is the experience of taking money from our pockets and putting in theirs, gaining more and more power. We need fresh blood to wipe the system clean. It’ll take a long time for people to develop communications and connections they need, and it’ll take another 50 years before those recruits turn corrupt. But it’ll give us some peace and progress without being impeded by an overburdening government.
When a President sits down, these people are looking at him like he’s nothing. He’s only there for four years and these individuals might be there for eight, but people who control things have been there for thirty or forty years. The Presidents are meaningless to them. I don’t want to be a President.
U.Today: Just so you are aware, I like the things you say about the government and if I were an American, I would vote for you. I’m pretty sure that you hear such words frequently. So why won’t you try and preach your ideas to the people?
John McAfee: I can’t be President, it is just impossible. What I am doing is standing at the front of the line and I'm telling people the truth. I don't believe that income taxes in America are constitutional. We did not have an income tax until 1913. Since then, it's simply gotten worse. I don't pay my taxes. I used to. About 10 years ago, I paid tens of millions of dollars in taxes. I stopped. I refused. They have not filed a return. I believe that the law is illegal and this law should not be obeyed. So for 10 years, nothing happened. I just never pay. When I started talking about crypto on the stage, on my blog, and in podcasts, I'm telling people that if you want to get rid of a burdening financial system like the banks, the Fed, to be able to not have to pay income taxes like the IRS demands, then cryptocurrency offers a way to do that.
Image via http://mcafee2020.com/
Now am I suggesting that people break the law by using Monero and not telling the IRS how much they made? No. I'm not suggesting people do that. I'm only suggesting for those of you who believe in your hearts that it’s unconstitutional to force a person to work for you for nothing, for three to four months out of the year, the fruits of your hard-earned labor. If you believe that, then stand up and take action rather than just go along with the system. It's called civil disobedience. It has a long history in our country. So that's all I'm advising people to do. And yet, the IRS, FBI, and the entire American government freak out because if people do what I say, then where will they get their money? They've forgotten how to get it the old fashioned way by the government doing enough work to take up the slack of the money that's needed. They don’t want to work hard anymore. It just oppresses the people. The IRS went to a grand jury on the 22nd of January this year, and convened an invitation for myself, my wife, and four of our staff on tax charges. Well, I'm just not going to submit to that. I'm sorry. So I'm sitting here in a communications room at an undisclosed location in which no signals can get in or out. I'm talking to you truthfully about what I see as our problems in the world.
U.Today: Yes, I understand. You know your life is like a movie. I think there is an actual movie based on it, which is pretty controversial.
John McAfee: [Laughing] I've never seen that movie. I don't watch documentaries or movies. I don’t even go back to look at the interviews and things I do. I live in these shoes. I know who I am and a movie is not going to enlighten me in any way. If I thought it would, I would go watch it, but that's two hours out of my life I can't afford.
With Mrs. McAfee. Image via http://mcafee2020.com/
U.Today: It appears that you’ve tried a range of things from around the world. What are some things that you haven’t tried, but would like to do in the near future?
John McAfee: I think there's only one thing, and I don't even know how to call that a sport - where people are wearing like a bat suit, right? They've got wings going from the end of their arms to the bottom of their legs, they jump off a cliff, go a mile in the air, and then they fly at 80 miles an hour, just a few feet off the ground and a few feet away from the canyon walls. Have you ever seen that? (*John McAfee is referencing wingsuit flying)
U.Today: No, I don’t really remember.
John McAfee: If you have not, and if the people in the audience have not seen that, it will absolutely shock you in any case. I've never tried that.
U.Today: Are you going to try it?
John McAfee: I’m sorry, but I think I'm too old right now to do that. However, I will check it out. That's the sport of all sports.
U.Today: Okay. Let’s talk about crypto adoption. I recently talked to NEO’s Head of Development, John deVadoss, and he told me that he believes that stablecoins are the future. As far as I know, you also think that they will get a mass adoption soon. What are the potential problems? What are your thoughts on Facebook’s Libra?
John McAfee: Okay. That's a lot of questions. I’ll start with the most important one right now, and that is stablecoin adoption being the future of crypto. He's absolutely correct, but he's only talking about 1/10 of the entire problem. Stablecoins do the following: I use DAI all the time. Why? Because it's stable. Yeah, it never varies. It's never not more than one penny above a dollar or one penny below, and it just slowly flows between that. I mean, it's a 1% risk. Please God, we can all take that. What does it do? Instead of saying "Oh my God, the market's crashing, I'm taking all my money out. I've got to cash out or put it back in a bank". It's costly. You need to transfer large amounts of money to and from questionable companies involved in cryptocurrency. So instead of doing that, if the market is scary and you've got all your money in it, then convert it instantly to DAI. It’s the same thing as getting it in US Dollars.
Image via http://mcafee2020.com/
DAI is accepted in many, many places now and it's accelerating rapidly. So yes, that’s its function. And to me, it's the only function as a medium of absolute, a security of value. As long as the US Dollar remains valuable. There is the risk. However, to me, it is a doorway between the Dollar and the crypto world. You have your own bank in stable currencies. There’s no one who’s looking and watching and controlling and saying you can do that or cannot.
You can't do a wire transfer to money, you cannot receive the wire transfer from OKEx. I mean this problem disappears. This is merely a tool, a convenience. This is not the heart and soul of crypto at all. Crypto’s heart and soul are two things. The first being privacy coins like Monero, Z Cash, Safex. These privacy coins offer something that terrifies the government. That is called freedom without observation, without surveillance, and without having to report to someone about the money that you have sweat out to earn - your money. You no longer have to file to someone, fill out a form, sign your name, etc. No, that is your wallet in DAI, or whatever stablecoin you want. Check up on them. Most of them are stable enough.
U.Today: Facebook’s Libra, for example, is different. Do you think it has a future?
John McAfee: No, I do not. I think it's a future of totalitarianism that is absolutely controlled by industry and government. And it's very difficult to tell which is which these days. They are intertwined for one thing, operating different pieces. That's the government slash industry. And for them, Libra is the answer or something like it. The reason they're not allowing it to happen yet or even at all is because why let Facebook do it? Why doesn't the US government do it? Why doesn't the Fed do it? You understand the risks of cryptocurrencies like Libra, which monitors every single thing you do. This is not a cryptocurrency, no more than a snake is as the equivalent to cherry pie. You can eat the snake of course, but it's now what do you do. I do not think that Libra is, nor do I think that stablecoins or privacy coins are the answer. I think that these things can be combined with functionality like smart contracts, which we use liberally by a new distribution exchange. It's all smart contracts on the blockchains.
You understand the risks of cryptocurrencies like Libra, which monitors every single thing you do. This is not a cryptocurrency, no more than a snake is as the equivalent to cherry pie. You can eat the snake of course, but it's now what do you do.
U.Today: Tell me about your DEX project. It seems that it can solve the problems of centralized exchanges. Should there be mass adoption of crypto first? Do you believe that government authorities will allow this to happen?
John McAfee: It doesn't matter if they allow it. I've already done it. I've already created a distributed exchange, which can never be shut down. Now, remember, we have smart contracts on the blockchain. Ethereum and TRON are coming up this week. They are there forever and can't ever be removed. Do you understand the beauty of the blockchain? No government is powerful enough to remove the system that I have constructed and placed on the blockchain. We don't take any money. We don't care who you are. We don’t ask your name. We don't ask your email address. We ask for no documentation. We charge nothing to list. Nothing. Press a button on the top of our page, you input the technical specifications of your token and you list it. We are distributed because we're running different portals. We have over 20 now. The portal is an exact copy of the McAfeeDex running in different parts of the world on someone's private server or wherever. We don’t care, we don’t own them.
Our source is open. You can take our source code and build your own, or we will build it for you for $400, which is nothing. With every piece of the traffic going through your parts, you receive 0.05% per transaction. Every portal has instantaneous access to every other portal’s data. So if I buy an order, sell an order, or make and take orders that come from anywhere, all of the portals have access. That motivates more and more people to do it. In less than four weeks, we have over 20 people voluntarily creating them. We'll have over a hundred by the end of the year, and over a thousand next year. So it can never be shut down. If the IRS or the US government say “We're taking away the mcafee.com domain”, okay, go ahead. I could care less because there are thousands of the portals. You can't shut it down.
Image via twitter.com/officialmcafee
So that's your answer. I know that governments aren’t happy, but what can I do? Jailing me or prosecuting me is not going to stop it because it can't be stopped. I can’t stop it. You created it, but I can't stop it. I'm sorry. It's one of these laws of mathematics. It's just how math works. It's there. I apologize.
However, using it once I built it, what does that actually mean? I mean, will they make it illegal to use the McAfeeDex? So they can't ever get rid of drugs. So it's like an illegal and they're still there. Do you understand? What you do in the privacy of your home with your own money that you worked so hard for is your business and nobody else's except perhaps your spouse, your children, and maybe your parents if you're living at home. But certainly no one else's business. Is it not more risky to smoke weed? Everybody does. Yet, it's still illegal in most of America. People still smoke it. All right. Is it any worse than that? No. This is my money and I'm spending it like I want. I've got it in the crypto world. I'm spending it in the crypto world. Why concern yourself? Take that attitude if in fact you believe the laws against it are unjust. That's what civil disobedience means. It doesn't mean a bunch of criminals banding together to try to get rid of bank-robbing laws. No, no. It harms no one other than the structure of the governmental system that you've been carrying on your backs for years. No, look at it like that, but you must truly believe that it is unjust because it is.
U.Today: We don’t want to give any investment advice, but I’m curious what cryptocurrency have you been following?
John McAfee: I can't do that. I can't recommend anything. I mean I'm a public person. I’ve had enough trouble with the SEC. So no, I'm not going to recommend anything. I will say, I recommend researching everything about any coin you intend to invest in or use. And, please God, we need to start using these things more and investing in them less. Why? Because the true value is in their utility as a replacement for the system that's oppressing you. So use them. I would say don't invest. There's nothing you can't buy with crypto. Check it out on the web. Houses? Yes. Mansions? Yes. Yachts? Yes. Cars? Please go check it out and start using it, but I'm not going to recommend anything. And the ones I'm following, I follow all of them for technical reasons to see if the system is going to work. New technologies for creating privacy, new technologies for distributed exchanges. It was thought for half a year that atomic swaps would be the way of the future for distributed exchanges. However, it turned out to be impossibly slow. I didn't know that until I watched what was actually happening. So I watch companies for those reasons. I don't watch them to see which is going to go up or down in price. Please, God, I'm 74. What will I do with that money at my age?
It seems that blockchain technologies are strengthening their positions around the world, promising a breath of fresh air to their supporters. While cryptocurrencies are widely considered a way to invest money through a "get rich quick scheme”, is there a real discussion about adopting these digital assets?
To be continued…