John McAfee, the creator of the security software that bears his name, has gotten pretty weird over the many years of his ongoing "lunacy binge". Just a handful of the times McAfee's name has popped up in the news in the past few years include allegations of rape, torture and assassinations during his time as an expat in Belize, blatant lies to the media about his supposed encryption-breaking abilities and an ill-advised and confusing run for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination.
Earlier this year, MGT Capital Investment severed ties with McAfee after he led it into a disastrous pivot to cryptocurrency mining, with the erstwhile security guru attracting a reputation as a pump-and-dump operator as well as the prying eyes of regulators along the way.
But per a report in Bloomberg, some people aren't through giving the dude additional chances. On Wednesday, "hackproof security solutions" firm CryptoSecure announced that McAfee would now serve as a senior strategic adviser.
As Bloomberg writes, the company explained the decision to bring McAfee on board came as a result of an "early morning discussion" following his talk at a blockchain conference on a cruise ship:
Key Capital Corp., a company focused on precious-metal mining, fintech and cancer treatments, is leading development at the startup. Shares of Key Capital, which trade over the counter, surged almost 400 per cent after the announcement.
"Mr. McAfee met the CryptoSecure team on a recent Blockchain cruise conference at which he was the keynote speaker," the statement said. "During an early morning discussion on the security deficiencies of the cryptocurrency market, he was appraised of CryptoSecure's military-grade hybrid Blockchain, Trusted Solaris OS, One Time Pad infrastructure project."
Alrighty then! As Bloomberg noted, MGT CEO Robert Ladd said in an interview that McAfee had left MGT after the company received "feedback" stating it might be "easier" to get back on the New York Stock Exchange if it chose "to not have John McAfee be an officer or director of the company."
But with all of this context about oddly timed meetings on cruise ships, CryptoSecure's decision to hire the allegedly hard-partying McAfee pops into slightly clearer focus.
McAfee announced the partnership on Twitter by claiming that "Hackers now have the ability to steal from any [cryptocurrency] wallet, computer or exchange," and that he and CryptoSecure would use "advanced technology to end this crisis." Of course, he also recently claimed a single bitcoin will be worth $US1 ($1) million by 2020, which if applied to the maximum possible future total of 21 million bitcoins, would be $US21 ($27) trillion or a good bit more than the value of all the gold in the entire world.
So you may want to take his claims with a grain of salt. Just, uh, make sure it's salt before you ingest it.