John McAfee is standing by his prediction that the price of bitcoin will skyrocket to US$1 million by the end of next year.
“I’m absolutely confident that it will hit $1 million,” he told Information Age.
“It’s pure numbers. There’s only 21 million bitcoin that will ever be mined, 18 million has already been mined, and the three million remaining will take a dozen years to be mined. We’ve already lost seven million, so that leaves only 14 million.
“However, for every bitcoin mined, four bitcoins are lost.
“So we have a supply that’s diminishing rapidly and a demand which is growing rapidly, and I figure in the middle of next year it’s going to break and people will go ‘Oh my god there’s no more bitcoins’ because we’re losing them all.”
Back in July 2017, the reclusive entrepreneur bet the price of bitcoin would reach US$500,000 by 2020 – extraordinarily saying he would eat his own penis on TV if bitcoin did not meet his expectations.
if not, I will eat my dick on national television.— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) July 17, 2017
Only a few months later, McAfee looked almost prescient as the cryptocurrency rose to record heights of nearly US$20,000 – before staggering back to earth at the start of last year and finding a trough of US$3,000 in December.
Since then, bitcoin has rallied somewhat, suggesting occasionally that it was heading back into the stratosphere, but the cryptocurrency has ultimately struggled to stay consistently above the US$10,000 mark.
With just over 12 months to go until McAfee’s judgement day, he has doubled down on his first bet – but don’t expect to see any grotesque spectacles if bitcoin disappoints.
“Anybody who thinks that anybody is going to eat their own dick on public television needs a brain transplant,” McAfee said.
“However, I don’t think I’m going to need to do that.
“This is the new paradigm. We will all be our own bank and I promise you there will be chaos within governments, regulatory bodies, and financial institutions as they try and find their way through this minefield of technology.”
Governments have taken notice of cryptocurrencies recently, especially with Facebook set to enter the market with its Libra coin next year.
“People who onboard with Libra will understand that all Libra is is another way of controlling and monitoring you,” he said.
“It’s no longer just who you’re communicating with – now it’s where and how are you spending your money, and how much you have, and who gives it to you.
“That’s all Libra is – it’s a tool for Facebook to get more knowledge about Facebook users.
“Please people, don’t use a government-issued cryptocurrency or a corporate-issued cryptocurrency. They all are merely very perverse aspects of the same system which we’re trying to exit and shut down.”
McAfee is a noted libertarian who is intending on running in the 2020 US presidential election.
His ideological viewpoints – and evangelising about cryptocurrency – have landed McAfee in hot water with the US government, specifically over his failure to pay taxes.
McAfee believes there is no law obliging him to file a tax return.
“For almost 10 years I have not paid income taxes, I have not even filed,” he told Information Age.
“I send letters to the government saying ‘I’m not filing, I’m not paying’. For eight years they ignored me.
“About two years ago, I started speaking out about cryptocurrency and how cryptocurrency could free people from government financial control, or even paying taxes – if you use a privacy coin and a distributed exchange and if you want to tell the government how much coin you have, you can, but if you don’t there’s no way they can ever know.
“When I started saying that, they convened a grand jury to indict [my wife] Janice, myself, and four of our workers for tax issues."
McAfee spoke to Information Age via Skype from an undisclosed location.
“We’re quite happy,” he said. “We have access to the world – as you can see – and we’re doing quite fine.”
John McAfee is scheduled to appear by videolink at Startcon 2019 later this month.