Exclusive: John McAfee on Protecting Crypto Investors from High Fees and Scams

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john mcafee

John McAfee gave an exclusive interview to CCN about his crusade to remove the fees and authority of centralized exchanges. He discussed more details about his plans on shedding light on scams within cryptocurrency exchanges.

HitBTC Draws the Most Criticism

As CCN reported, one of the most offending exchanges is HitBTC, according to McAfee. The high fees that the exchange levies on traders is “egregious.”

McAfee recently tweeted about his frustration with HitBTC and asked users to send their complaints to an email address that he provided in the tweet. In the interview, McAfee said that that the address “received thousands of emails within hours. Users described how they had coins that went missing, balances didn’t add up, and support was unresponsive. The fees were outrageous also.”

Too Many Fly-by-Night Exchanges

McAfee is concerned that many exchanges “are not accountable to anyone and exit scam with people’s funds with no repercussions. Many don’t even have an address or President and you can’t find who’s behind the exchange.”

McAfee is concerned for exchange users who have very few weapons when they feel mistreated. Since it is so difficult to find the entity to sue, McAfee said that he plans to take the complaint’s to the site’s website hosting provider.

Centralized Points of Failure Aren’t Healthy for the Crypto Ecosystem

It’s not only HitBTC that McAfee is concerned about. He is concerned about all centralized exchanges and the increasing power they yield. As the point of entry for newcomers, centralized exchanges can leave an impression.

McAfee has been a consistent, outspoken critic to regulators. In June, as CCN reported, he ran afoul with the SEC over ICO promotions and spoke out publicly against the regulatory body.

In the interview, it was clear that his beliefs about central government regulations plays a big role in all of his work. As a firm believer in decentralization, powerful exchanges pose a threat, according to McAfee.

McAfee said in the interview:

Centralized exchanges can be shut down at any moment by a country’s government or legislators. They can just show up at the office and shut it down whenever they want at any time. Customers would be left in a tough spot if this occurred.

Decentralized Exchanges Are a Good Answer

Asked whether he believed decentralized exchanges are a good solution, he said:

Yes. With decentralized exchanges, there’s no single owner. If a user is forced off the exchange, everyone can still trade. They have the blockchain and trading platform on their devices still.

However, he did concede that many issues still need to be worked out with decentralized exchanges, such as fiat deposits/withdrawals. He believes that these issues will be ironed out soon — “they have to be,” he said. As CCN reported, the benefits of decentralizing exchanges are numerous, from better security to greater user control.

His numerous projects are based on the concept of decentralization of cryptocurrency infrastructure. Though he stated that he no longer writes software himself, he hand-picks the best software engineers for his projects.

His latest project, BitFi, is a secure, cold-storage wallet, with “no memory or applications.” The low attack surface of the wallet makes it stand out as more secure than competitors. He also recently put up a $100,000 bug bounty program for anyone who can hack it, as he stands by his claim that the device is “unhackable.”

Featured image from Flickr/Gage Skidmore.

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