Profiles of the blockchain industry: John McAfee
The Profiles of the blockchain industry series examines pioneers and leaders of the blockchain industry, with the hope of inspiring you to find your place in this nascent realm. It’s a world that is full of potential and is leaping forward through the innovations of key figures. What is your role in this new frontier? The possibilities are infinite.
It was during a cold autumn evening last year that I decided to take a bit of the crypto that I had set aside and traded the modest sum for a little-known currency called Verge. Across crypto forums and social media channels, it was being touted as the next big thing in privacy coins, and the market was growing so quickly at the time that it was worth taking a high-risk, high-reward shot at the obscure coin that was, at least at the time, of dubious reputation (many argue it still is).
About a week later, I read the tweet. So did thousands of other crypto fans. John McAfee released a proclamation via Twitter that Verge, along with other privacy coins like the much better known and trusted Monero and ZCash, were the currencies most worth investing in — coins that simply “cannot lose”. In fact, he suggested Verge could be worth much, much more than its market price at the time and was a sure bet for massive gains.
Verge rocketed from a value of less than a single cent to a peak of 27 cents USD, propelled by the enthusiastic momentum created, at least in part, by the resounding endorsement of John McAfee’s positive tweets. It turned out to be the best buy I ever made in crypto to this day, although I did not take full advantage due to the greed that kept me holding it for longer than I should have. The price plummeted soon after the peak when it turned out that certain highly anticipated key upgrades were not ready on time, scheduled to be released at midnight in New York on New Year’s Eve, but disappointingly missing in action days and even weeks later.
The astonishing rise of Verge currency pointed to a pattern that had developed in the crypto world. McAfee’s frequent Twitter endorsements were soon recognized to be creating a phenomenon known as the “McAfee Effect”. Such was his influence among crypto traders during the mad rush of late 2017 that...
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