Remembering John McAfee: computer programmer and crypto evangelist dead at 75

Many may remember McAfee for being unapologetically outspoken for his thoughts on government overreach and a unique character in the crypto space.

According to a Wednesday report from Spanish international news agency EFE, John McAfee has been found dead in his prison cell at the Brians 2 Penitentiary Center.

Born in 1945, McAfee founded the software company McAfee Associates in his early forties. His company was responsible for one of the most well known antivirus software programs at the time. He resigned from the company in 1994, and went on to found software firm Tribal Voice — behind one of the internet’s first instant message and chat programs — as well technology company QuorumEx and security and privacy company Future Tense Central.

McAfee made headlines in the crypto space and mainstream media for a July 2017 prediction that the price of Bitcoin (BTC) would reach $500,000 by 2020. When the price of the crypto asset looked even more bullish in November that year, McAfee doubled down, claiming BTC would reach $1 million before 2021.

Neither prediction — nor McAfee’s extravagant bet surrounding it — ultimately came true. However, a nonfungible token animation jokingly showing the 75-year-old fulfilling his promise is available for sale through the Rarible marketplace.

The U.S. government had been seeking McAfee’s extradition for charges including failing to submit tax returns from 2014 to 2018 and allegedly not reporting income related to pushing crypto projects and consulting work. In October 2020, authorities arrested McAfee at Barcelona’s international airport, detaining him until a decision on extradition could be reached.

Related: McAfee on BTC, Exile & the US: ‘No Way the Current System Can Survive’

McAfee regularly posted updates from his Twitter account, initially saying he was “content” with his situation and had friends in prison, but also describing the conditions of his incarceration. One of his last messages said he had lost the entirety of his crypto holdings and many of his friends. 

Earlier today, a Spanish court ruled McAfee could have been extradited to the United States following approval from the country’s Council of Ministers and the opportunity for his legal team to appeal the decision. The 75-year-old previously argued that the charges he faced were politically motivated, and if he had been extradited, he would have spent the rest of his life in prison.

We at the Cointelegraph Team regret the loss of an iconoclastic figure like John McAfee, and offer our condolences to his family and friends. McAfee is survived by his wife Janice.

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Author: Turner Wright

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