Bitcoin turned 10 this year, but large swaths of the crypto industry are doing their best to never, ever grow up.
Yesterday, blockchain research firm Cinidcator published its inaugural “10 Most Trusted People in Crypto” list, and since this is, after all, crypto, the names on that list ranged from the head-scratching to the bizarre.
And possibly even the criminal.
That’s right, clocking in at numbers 7 and 8 are John McAfee and Justin Sun who – in one of life’s delicious ironies – both suffered legal pitfalls on the very same day that they were named two of the crypto industry’s most trusted names.
McAfee, the eccentric cybersecurity pro-turned-ICO-shill, was an odd choice for this list for many reasons – not the least of which being that he once faced murder charges and was later found liable in the man’s death. And then pumped this scamcoin on Twitter.
But on July 23, just hours after Cindicator published its report, McAfee’s Twitter feed announced that he had been detained by unnamed authorities – despite fleeing to international waters.
McAfee has previously claimed to be on the run from various US federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The IRS says McAfee is lying. McAfee says the IRS is lying about him lying. Either way, that should probably disqualify him from being named one of the “10 Most Trusted People in Crypto.” Right?
On the other hand, McAfee did trust us enough to share his Social Security Number on Twitter. So there’s that.
And then there’s Justin Sun, the billionaire Tron founder who missed his calling as a yearbook photo model but probably chose the right career path from a financial standpoint.
Sun forked over more than $4.5 million for a lunch-date with fellow-but-much-wealthier billionaire Warren Buffett, only to
scrub postpone it at the last minute.
The most salacious allegation – that Justin Sun was trapped in Greater China and prohibited from leaving the country – was debunked by none other than the Tron founder himself, who went live on Periscope to prove that he was in San Francisco.
Don’t worry: He pinky-promises that nothing is wrong.
However, Chinese media outlet Caixin is standing by its reporting that Sun is on a Chinese government exit-ban list – and has been since June 2018. Affected residents can sometimes weasel their way out of these restrictions, and the report suggests the crypto whiz-kid has “basically been living abroad this year.”
It’s also firm in its accusation that Justin Sun is under investigation for multiple alleged crimes, including illegal fundraising, money laundering, TRX-related gambling services, and facilitating the spread of pornography (through his social dating app, Peiwo).
Those same allegations have also appeared in the 21st Century Business Herald and Sina Finance.
To be sure, we don’t know with certainty that Sun is a criminal – and he firmly denies the allegations. But “we don’t know for sure that he is a criminal” seems like kind of a low bar for trustworthiness.
It’s not like it’s Cindicator’s fault. According to the release, they curated the ten names by polling the 130,000 “analysts” registered on their data platform.
Still, you kind of have to feel sorry for everyone else on the list, especially once the nocoiners at FT Alphaville get their hands on it.
Poor Andreas Antonopoulos – crypto’s fourth most-trusted personality – begged Cindicator to take him off.
“Please take me off this list,” the crypto expert said. “Yikes.”
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.