In the wake of Donald Trump’s viral tweet denouncing bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general, John McAfee has come rushing to its aid.
In a series of tweets, the crypto evangelist has ridiculed the U.S. president’s comments regarding the use of digital currency to facilitate criminal activity.
While McAfee is making valid points here, there is a significant elephant in the room. Namely, that the cybersecurity guru is quite open about flaunting U.S. law, as he currently claims to be on the run from the IRS. McAfee also admits to purchasing drugs and has solicited other illicit services through the medium of bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
If Donald Trump and John McAfee are ever standing across from one another in a political debate, this irony would be the very first argument that Trump would make.
Many in the cryptocurrency community have long struggled with John McAfee’s penchant for controversy. If you are the Winklevoss twins looking for mainstream regulatory approval for your beloved bitcoin, JMac is a problem. It’s hard to counter bitcoin’s perception as a scam amongst the old guard when one of the most prominent figures is living in exile in Cuba.
John McAfee’s response to this argument is easily discernible from his video. Technological advancement will always bring benefits to everyone, even those who would use them illegally. If bitcoin is stifled, then McAfee would argue that only law-abiding citizens would be harmed. He might break the law, but he would do it with bananas and soy milk if he had to.
Donald Trump’s foray into cryptocurrency was always going to catch a lot of attention. From a political standpoint, it seems contrary to his de-regulation “Reagan” agenda to suggest draconian sanctions on Bitcoin are needed. McAfee clearly sees an opportunity to garner some political support from former pro-Trumpers, who won’t enjoy seeing the President stamp on their beloved crypto.
The reality is often second to the optics in politics. No matter the veracity of the comments, we have a confessed law-breaker, advocating Bitcoin should not be regulated because it’s sometimes used for illicit behavior. That’s a tough sell, but if anyone is going to try, it’s probably John McAfee.