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Cybersecurity expert and tech guru (at least for some) John McAfee recently expressed his willingness to work with the Cuban government to help build their its native cryptocurrency. McAfee, who is currently on the run from the U.S. tax authorities, offered his help after the Cuban government revealed its intention to build a cryptocurrency to avoid U.S. imposed trade sanctions.
In an interview with Reuters, McAfee boasted that with his help a cryptocurrency project in Cuba would not only be viable but incredibly simple. He showed his belief in the idea by claiming that he would even be prepared to offer his help pro-bono. He said:
“It would be trivial to get around the U.S. government’s embargo through the use of a clever system of currency. So I made a formal offer to help them for free on a private channel… through Twitter.”
McAfee seems excited to help the Cuban government as he shared his thoughts on the matter on Twitter.
“Cuba is planning to use Cryptocurrency to get around the 63 years of economic strangulation imposed upon 14 million Cuban people by the insanity of the US Government. Finally, a large scale, real world application for Cryptocurrencies. If Cuba wants my help, I am here.”
The idea, however, is very similar to Venezuela’s efforts to do the same. Yet, Venezuela’s efforts bore little fruit and includes government coercion. McAfee blamed this failure on false expectations from the Petro cryptocurrency. “You can’t just create a coin and expect it to fly,” he criticized. He said that for a cryptocurrency project like this to be successful, it has to be based on a sound and “proper” blockchain. It needs to be structured “such that it meets the specific needs of a country or economic situation,” he said.
Despises the U.S. Government; Plans his Own “McAfee Freedom Coin”
McAfee’s interest in helping the Cuban government get out of the traps set by the U.S. government is born out of his own despise of the control that the U.S. government holds over the global economy. It seems his time in Havana has nourished the tech guru’s perspective on freedom.
He boasted his grasp of cryptography and distributed ledger technologies, saying, “There are probably less than 10 people in the world who know [create a cryptocurrency] and I’m certainly one of them.” Just last month, McAfee divulged his intention to launch the “McAfee Freedom Coin,” some sort of unexplained cryptocurrency that cannot be mined.
McAfee is a controversial figure in the U.S. financial and tech industry. However, he plans to run as a Libertarian Party presidential candidate for the 2020 US elections from the island and will extend his tourist visa indefinitely.