John McAfee is Manipulating the Crypto Market – And This is How He Does It
John McAfee is quite a controversial figure on the internet. In short: He made his name with his McAfee Antivirus back in the 90’s, sold his piece in the business, moved to a remote location in Belize, ran a local ring of gangsters, and eventually had to flee the country after he was a suspect of murdering his fellow countryman.
Fast forward to 2017, he became a high profile bull for Bitcoin. On July 17th, he made his glorious claim that Bitcoin will rise to $500 000 within three years. If not, he’d “eat his dick in the national television”. Later in the year with Bitcoin price soaring, he upped the ante to cool one million before the end of 2020.
That developed McAfee quite the following within the crypto world, especially on Twitter. Soon he would realize how he could make big money with it.
Shilling Coins For Huge Gains
Having developed a massive following, in December he hit a home run.
I am inundated by people asking me for recommendations on cryptocurrencies. If you would use your heads you would figure out that the privacy coins (anonymous transactions) will have the greatest future. Coins like Monero (XMR), Verge (XVG), or Zcash (ZEC) cannot lose.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) December 13, 2017
All the three coins enjoyed substantial gains in short period, but none bigger than Verge. Priced at only 37 satoshis at the time, XVG went on a rampant moon mission. McAfee continued to pour gasoline on the flames, and soon the price hit its all-time high – 1800 satoshis. A staggering gain of over 2000%.
If he didn’t know already – finally this made McAfee realize the power he had in the community. He started to do Coin of the Day just before Christmas, highlighting an undervalued coin to pump up the price. Below you’ll see the effect McAfee’s tweets had on coins in December.
Each Coin of the Day had something similar: A significant pump in price leading to the tweet, the dump, and low dollar value on each coin. Coins with low dollar value tend to look especially tempting to newbies in the market, as they don’t pay much attention to the market cap.
Paid Shills and Sell Walls
From Coin of the Day, McAfee continued to Coin of the Week. He kept the trend of low dollar value coins, when he followed with Tron and Stellar as his picks of the week. Neither of the coins moved much, as major part of the community felt McAfee’s credibility was shot, and also the coins were already priced high in market cap value.
Today McAfee struck again with another coin of the week – this time Syscoin. Look what happened in the 30 minute chart.
According to this Redditor, McAfee sold his picks in advance. McAfee selling his picks was a rumor already over Christmas, but there wasn’t enough evidence to back that up. Now, however, there’s a legitimate case building against the notorious businessman.
Gamble.io’s take: It’s evident John McAfee has no morals and isn’t shy of taking his followers for a ride. But is he doing anything illegal? Probably not. Crypto market isn’t regulated, and we’re not sure what law he’d be breaking here, as insider trading laws might come into play in crypto (yet). But please take every McAfee tweet with a grain of salt, the man has shown his picks are driven by two things: Money and attention. Make sure he doesn’t burn your hard earned bitcoins.