Did John McAfee Put a Dead Man’s Switch on Ethereum? – Crypto Briefing


Key Takeaways

  • Tech entrepreneur John McAfee was reported dead yesterday after allegedly committing suicide in his Spanish prison cell.
  • Some have speculated that McAfee had a dead man’s switch designed to leak government data upon his death.
  • It is not clear that McAfee had such a plan, and if he did, it is unlikely that he used the Ethereum blockchain.

Rogue tech entrepreneur John McAfee was reported dead after committing suicide in his Spanish prison cell yesterday. Now, rumors of a blockchain-based “dead man’s switch” have emerged.

Did McAfee Post a Crypto Key on Instagram?

Shortly after McAfee’s death was reported, an image with the letter “Q” was posted to McAfee’s Instagram account. Later, McAfee’s entire account, including the post, was deleted.

Snapshot of McAfee’s Instagram page, via independent.co.uk

The letter “Q” was seemingly a reference to the conspiracy group QAnon. That led some to believe that McAfee’s death had triggered a system that would leak secret government information.

Those who were able to access the image claimed that the image contained an Ethereum address key. However, those claims were incorrect. The string began with FBMD, indicating that the text was Facebook metadata, as is standard across the site.

Though some have suggested that the metadata contained a blockchain key in hexadecimal code, there does not seem to be any meaningful data in the string when it is converted from hex code.

Did McAfee Use Ethereum?

Others have drawn attention to recent activity concerning McAfee’s WHACKD token on the Ethereum blockchain.

McAfee launched the WHACKD token in November 2019. At that time, he expressed the belief that he would be killed by government agents under the guise of suicide, similar to conspiracy theories that emerged around the death of Jeffrey Epstein in 2019.

Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: “We’re coming for you McAfee! We’re going to kill yourself”. I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whackd. Check my right arm.$WHACKD available only on https://t.co/HdSEYi9krq🙂 pic.twitter.com/rJ0Vi2Hpjj

— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 30, 2019

Now, SwitchDex’s token tracking contract for WHACKD has begun to receive funds after long periods of inactivity. Some have speculated that these transactions could have been triggered by McAfee’s death.

However, given that the contract is receiving incoming funds, the relevant transactions were not necessarily carried out at McAfee’s request. It is possible that McAfee’s death simply encouraged WHACKD token holders (or SwitchDex itself) to move funds.

It should also be noted that although the contract’s name is “Epstein,” this simply seems to be the name that SwitchDEX chose for its contract, not an indication of any information on Epstein.

Though it is conceivable that the transactions contain hidden data or were carried out in a pattern, this does not seem to be the case.

Blockchains Are Impractical for Data Storage

There is another more straightforward reason that the Ethereum blockchain is unlikely to be involved in a data leak.

Most blockchains cannot host large amounts of data. McAfee claimed that he had 31 TB of data on government corruption. Ethereum’s ledger, however, contains less than half a terabyte of data.

Though McAfee could use an Ethereum transaction to broadcast a link to the true location of his data leak, doing so would be an unnecessary intermediate step toward whatever method of distribution he supposedly chose to use.

In the unlikely event that McAfee did intend to leak information upon his death, blockchain would certainly not make up his entire plan.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

The information on or accessed through this website is obtained from independent sources we believe to be accurate and reliable, but Decentral Media, Inc. makes no representation or warranty as to the timeliness, completeness, or accuracy of any information on or accessed through this website. Decentral Media, Inc. is not an investment advisor. We do not give personalized investment advice or other financial advice. The information on this website is subject to change without notice. Some or all of the information on this website may become outdated, or it may be or become incomplete or inaccurate. We may, but are not obligated to, update any outdated, incomplete, or inaccurate information.

You should never make an investment decision on an ICO, IEO, or other investment based on the information on this website, and you should never interpret or otherwise rely on any of the information on this website as investment advice. We strongly recommend that you consult a licensed investment advisor or other qualified financial professional if you are seeking investment advice on an ICO, IEO, or other investment. We do not accept compensation in any form for analyzing or reporting on any ICO, IEO, cryptocurrency, currency, tokenized sales, securities, or commodities.

See full terms and conditions.

John McAfee Indicted by Department of Justice

Eccentric entrepreneur John McAfee is in more trouble with U.S. authorities over an alleged “pump and dump” scheme and ICO. McAfee Charged With Fraud McAfee has been indicted on charges…

What is Kusama? How Polkadot’s playground accommodates blockchain de…

Kusama is relatively young and was founded in 2019 by Dr. Gavin Wood, who also founded the Web3 Foundation and co-founded Ethereum. The team behind Kusama is essentially the same…

SEC Files Criminal Charges Against John McAfee for Shilling 7 ICOs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against John McAfee, alleging that the crypto celebrity profited by promoting certain ICO sales on Twitter. McAfee Promoted 7 ICOs…

Far-Right Website Gab Suffers Data Breach in Major Hack 

More problems for Gab: the alternative social media platform appears to have been hacked over the weekend.  Gab Hit by Hack  Gab, a self-styled “Free Speech Social Network” whose user…

You May Also Like

About the Author: Kate