More investment capital could flow to companies working on ways for Bitcoin users to secure their money, with John McAfee’s appointment of Roger Ver, Erik Voorhees and Bruce Fenton to key positions in his new cybersecurity-focused company.
McAfee’s Crypto Advisory Board
Ver, one of bitcoin’s earliest investors and owner of Bitcoin.com, will become chairman of the Cryptocurrency Advisory Board for MGT Technologies. Fellow entrepreneur Voorhees and Bitcoin Foundation executive director Fenton were announced soon after as a fellow board member.
Cult cybersecurity figure and (until last month) 2016 Libertarian Party presidential candidate McAfee said:
Roger and I both understand that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and that the greatest risk to cryptocurrency users is the uneven security surrounding these currencies.
Even the most experienced Bitcoin user, he said, risks financial loss if a clever hacker targets them. He mentioned key loggers and screen capture spyware as a particular vulnerability, given they can be planted on any web-browsing device simply by visiting a site. This and other simple means of infiltration could override most security features of existing bitcoin wallets.
If these types of cyber threats are not remedied, the world risks financial chaos as cryptocurrencies are widely adopted.
McAfee took over as CEO and chairman of MGT Technologies on 9th May, signaling a change in direction for the company from gaming to cybersecurity, and immediately boosting its stock price more than 1000%.
McAfee also appointed ethical hacker and activist Bryan Seely to a new “Hacker Advisory Board”, signaling a willingness to hire well-known industry insiders with practical experience behind the scenes in the technologies they use.
Who is John McAfee?
McAfee initially founded the well-known virus protection software company McAfee, Inc. in 1987, and resigned from the company in 1994. McAfee, Inc. was sold to Intel in February 2011 and will soon be known only as Intel Security Group.
McAfee is probably looking to re-establish his name as a trusted one in the cybersecurity field. His dislike of what became of McAfee, Inc. and the anti-virus software it produced became clear when he released his infamous “How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus” video in 2013. It has been watched over 6.1 million times.
He has courted controversy over the past few years by fleeing corrupt authorities in Belize (where he had been living) claiming they had tried to extort him. More recently he has made the public more aware of smartphone surveillance, first by saying apps were gathering data on their users and then by offering to unlock the iPhone used by the perpetrators of the San Bernadino terrorist attack.
New Board Members
Roger Ver was Bitcoin’s earliest angel investor and one of the first merchants to accept bitcoin, with his online technology stores MemoryDealers and BitcoinStore. He earned the name “Bitcoin Jesus” through his regular speaking appearances at Bitcoin conferences, and for giving out bitcoin amounts to newcomers signing up for their first wallets – something he is still known to do.
A well-known voluntaryist, in November 2013 he donated 1,000 BTC to the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the result of a 2011 bet that bitcoin would outperform other asset classes. Worth $10,000 at the time the bet was made, Ver’s donation to FEE paid out when bitcoin was at its peak, making it worth over $1 million.
As well as Bitcoin.com, Ver has also been an investor in Blockchain, LocalBitcoins, Kraken, Bitstamp, and BitPay.
Erik Voorhees, who shares many of Ver and McAfee’s political views, made his first splash in the Bitcoin world by founding gambling site SatoshiDice, tangling with the US Securities and Exchange Commission over its sale.
He then went on to found Coinapult and instant crypto asset exchange ShapeShift.io, which had to overhaul its own security after being allegedly sabotaged by an employee in April 2016.
Ideological partner Bruce Fenton comes from an investment advisory background, having placed over $5 billion in investment capital with money managers and funds over the course of his career. He has also been an enthusiastic lobbyist for Bitcoin in the financial and political worlds.
According to a company statement, The Cryptocurrency Advisory Board will ensure that MGT “remains current in the protection of this critical field and provides the most state of the art products to its customers”.
Do you think the involvement of high-profile figures like John McAfee will be beneficial for Bitcoin security? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of classifinity.com, mgt