McAfee vs the SEC: Round 1, Fight!

For those who don’t know about him, John McAfee made his bones as one of the first developers of antivirus software but is perhaps known best for the more audacious facts of his personal life, the details of which hardly seem real. His exploits include drug abuse that would make Scarface blush, arrest at the hands of the Belizean police’s cartel-busting force, and a 2016 presidential primary run for the Libertarian Party nomination that produced this crackers campaign video.

Most recently, McAfee has positioned himself as one of cryptocurrency’s foremost gurus and hype men, famously promising to dine on his own anatomy if Bitcoin doesn’t surpass $5,000 by 2020. As such, he has turned his characteristic paranoia-tinged ire upon Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton for refusing to loosen rules regulating cryptocurrency.

McAfee reached out to his more than 800,000 Twitter followers inciting them to “Flood this m***** f*****’s voice mail and inbox with demands that [Clayton] debate [him].”

That was June. Now, thanks to  Buzzfeed’s performance of some bureaucratic ninjutsu, we have access to the roughly 100 emails that flooded the SEC chair’s inbox.

The emails were largely cordial:

  • “Dear sir as a devoted follower of John McAfee it would be a great pleasure in seeing you debate John on all things in the crypto space…”

Then there were the provocative:

  • “Don’t be a whimp, debate McAfee on CNN”
  • “Stop being such a chicken. You secretly know you will lose the debate, that’s why you are avoiding it.”

The insulting:

  • “You seem to not be thinking logically about anything.”
  • “I heard you are frightened of a lively debate on the validity of crypto.”

And the absurd:

  • “What you gonna do Jay Clayton when the real truth, the BitCoin Crew and Hulkamania runs wild on you?”

If McAfee’s history is anything to go by, this light volley is only round one of a much longer bout.

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