The world of cryptocurrency and the blockchain was always supposed to be edgy. Bitcoin was designed to take on the biggest banks in the world. Wallets would create a new peer-to-peer payment infrastructure, and digital currencies would redefine the entire financial system. So it’s not too surprising that many of its biggest promoters have also been some of the world’s edgiest—and most chaotic—people.
John McAfee, a man responsible for what might be the world’s first commercial, anti-virus software program, was one of them. He was found dead in his prison cell in Spain in June 2021 where he was facing extradition to the United States for tax evasion. But his legal troubles weren’t confined to a slack approach to paying his dues.
An advocate of recreational drugs, McAfee was also investigated as a person of interest in the homicide of his neighbor in Belize, Gregory Faull. According to his ghostwriter though, Faull might have been just one of McAfee’s multiple victims.
“If everything told to me is true,” Alex Cody Foster told the Bad Crypto Podcast, “it would be five. And that is if John did, in fact, kill his father.”
Watch the full length interview with Alex Cody Foster on The Bad Crypto Podcast. McAfee was a guest and friend of The Bad Crypto Podcast, making a record six appearances on the show and as a speaker during a myriad of blockchain and cryptocurrency events.
On the Run with John
Foster’s book The Man Who Hacked the World follows Netflix’s documentary Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee in a double exposure of one of the technology world’s most colorful characters. During the six months Foster spent following McAfee around the globe, the pair twice found themselves under threat from criminal gangs. Once they had to flee from the Sinaloa cartel which Foster says McAfee hacked and bugged in 2012. And once they were kidnapped by a group Foster believes was an Eastern European mob.
“It was a very sketchy situation,” he recalled. “I was in this motorcade with a bunch of guys with guns, driving to an undisclosed location, supposedly a villa in Barcelona.”
McAfee’s secrets and mysteries continue
Even McAfee’s suicide has failed to end the speculation about his multiple controversies. McAfee told Foster that he’d built a back door in his software that allowed access to every computer on which it was installed and that he’d also stored secret information with five law firms who would publish that information after his death.
Nothing has been released but a few weeks after reports of McAfee’s suicide, Foster received a notification informing him that McAfee had joined Telegram. He wrote to the account, warning the owner that they were using a dead guy’s phone and asking who they were. A few hours later, the account was deleted.
Foster believes the account might have been created by McAfee’s wife, Janice, but he’s not sure. “Maybe it was the Feds. Maybe it was John. I don’t know. And I’ll never know and I’m okay with not knowing.”
Foster added that he does believe McAfee is dead. But should the millionaire software programmer, possible murderer and, in his later years, Bitcoin advocate, ever return from the grave, his reappearance would only tie him even closer to the blockchain—an industry that’s edgy, chaotic and, despite constant controversy, never seems to die.