In this interview with CoinGeek.com, computer programmer and entrepreneur John McAfee shared his views on cryptocurrencies and why banks and governments are afraid of the global phenomenon.
Known for establishing one of the most successful software companies that distributes enterprise security software under the McAfee brand name, John McAfee is a major stakeholder of technology holdings company MGT Capital Investments.
An experienced businessman and information security engineer, McAfee moved MGT Capital Investments into the cryptocurrency space in May 2017, when he was still the chairman and CEO of the company, increasing its research and development on blockchain-based cybersecurity solutions. CoinGeek.com caught up with McAfee recently, and asked him why banks and governments are afraid of cryptocurrencies.
“Cryptocurrencies frighten governments because people who use them, you cannot find how much money they’re making through bitcoin, what they’re buying, what they’re selling and so governments make income by taxing the movement of money, whether you’re, like, in America, our income taxes are the greatest source of revenue,” McAfee said.
Cryptocurrencies were created with the aim of liberalizing transactions through peer-to-peer electronic payments, following the 2008 financial crisis. Spurred primarily by the subprime mortgage bubble, financial institutions crashed and sustained significant damages. This was what served as a catalyst of the then burgeoning cryptocurrency movement.
McAfee said ceasing cryptocurrency operations will be futile because “you cannot stop this technology because it is distributed, meaning that you (a crypto user) don’t care where anybody is, it’s a worldwide phenomenon, and this frightens governments.”
While some in the cryptocurrency community are of the opinion that government regulation poses a significant challenge to the crypto industry’s growth, advocates of Bitcoin Cash like Jimmy Nguyen of blockchain research and development firm nChain Group hold a positive outlook on the issue of regulation. But how can cryptocurrencies exist in a regulated environment? For McAfee, that’s something that the cryptocurrency community needs to decide internally.
“We have to have self-regulation, that’s obvious, I mean, China is right about one thing: the ICOs, the initial coin offerings, there are, lots of scams, lots of people who are fraudulently taking money from other people, so, that’s got to stop, but I don’t think governments can solve it, we as users and the bitcoin community have to be self-regulating,” he said.
Asked about what advice he could provide to new cryptocurrency users who may fear what the government could do, the cybersecurity researcher and now cryptocurrency advocate had this to say: “There’s no fear, okay? You just realize that oh, this is, this is very convenient, very powerful, it gives me the power to be my own bank. Why do I need a bank if I have a (cryptocurrency) wallet?” Further, McAfee provided a sample situation: “If I want to wire money to someone, I don’t have to call my bank, I go in my wallet and I just send it, and in a matter of seconds and it’s done.”
These days, what McAfee describes as sample situations is applicable to leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash. The Bitcoin Cash network provides faster-than-lightning transactions with reliable confirmations at negligible fees. The network’s ecosystem is also expanding with new protocols, concurrent technologies and services, as well as global adoption from merchants and decentralized developers looking to create platforms to facilitate permissionless innovation and unrestricted growth.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.