With genuine amusement, I write a short memo here today to add some good humor to a hilarious incident that occurred recently in regard to the bitcoin community and the owner of a large cryptocurrency mining company. For Mother and Aunt Norma, this world of internets can be confusing and scary, but these groups of computers working together are basically power-plants that produce cryptocurrencies. They use up insane amounts of electricity and require access to equally outrageous amounts cheap computer hardware (servers, circuitboards, etc. [check]). These “mines” are kept in giant warehouses in countries where both the hardware and electricity are cheap, like China, to “extract” or “mine” bitcoins, which in simple terms creates value, like a Fed or National Reserve controls the circulation of money. One of these companies – MGTI – is owned by the infamous John McAfee, most famous for his Rock and Roll attitude and being pushed out of the security software company, McAfee, Inc. McAfee Antivirus is well known for it’s annoying update pop-ups that inspired numerous humorous internet memes expressing the sentiment, which ultimately ended with McAfee himself creating a video outlining how to uninstall the software. In a hilarious video featuring assault weapons, cocaine, and a pack of hired escorts, he reasons the only solution to the problem is to blast the hardware with a – probably unlicensed – handgun off the Belizean black market. Let him go, what do we care how a sovereign American spends his money, white powder, and lead?
In short, there are circles where he is considered a dunce, a maniac, and in others, a savvy blockhead and cyber-security pioneer. Either way, he has been an interesting and noteworthy character – some would strive to use the word legend – in the tech community since the earliest days of the Internet. Nobody is questioning his place in the tech sector. He has a clear understanding of the problems facing the industry which he usually expresses in entertaining bits on TV News and social media, my favorite of which being his rebuttal to the FBI’s bogus struggle against encrypted iPhones in February of 2016.
Right, to the point. The former Libertarian Presidential candidate and yoga guru performed what could end up being a service for the bitcoin community by giving it some press coverage. By adding his signature shock and awe value to bitcoin it may garner some more exposure. After all, this strange amoeba of innovations from the information age depends on participation. It’s called the Network Effect. In this theory, the more participants in a network improves its security and performance. Anyway, I’ll let you come to your own conclusions, but he claimed on Twitter that if the price of 1 BTC did not reach $500,000 by 2020 he would sever his own genitalia on National Television and eat it. Or at the very least bet millions.
Any press is good press, eh?
I will be sure to write to you Good Folk shortly with a more focused inquiry on the subject of blockchains and the potential impact on society, without the nuts. But for now, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to point out one of the weirder displays of confidence I have seen in my life from one of the strangest characters I have encountered in anything fiction or otherwise. Let the times get weird so that we may all be entertained, and until our next discourse, I remain
Your humble flunky,