What can John McAfee's 2020 presidential bid do for crypto?

08 Oct, 2018
by David Robb
Analysis
What can John McAfee's 2020 presidential bid do for crypto?

The next US presidential elections are still two years away, but 2016's shock result has led to a number of unlikely people already being considered as potential candidates, including Kanye West and Oprah Winfrey as well as our favourite cryptocurrency evangelist, John McAfee. Regardless of whether McAfee is elected or not, a popular campaign could do for crypto what the Sanders 2016 campaign did for socialism.

A passionate advocate for individual freedom above all else, McAfee ran for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination back in 2016, but was unsuccessful. Despite this, he was able to draw serious attention to the specific issues that he was concerned with, which at the time were mostly cybersecurity-related. This time around, he will have a national platform to educate US voters on cryptocurrency and the potential advantages of blockchain technology.

As crypto is to be the main focus of McAfee's campaign, it's probably worth asking what exactly McAfee thinks the benefits of cryptocurrencies are. He has a strong anti-government stance, and has publicly called out the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) for its attitude towards cryptos. 

According to McAfee's current campaign manager, "We intend to showcase (the advantages of crypto), while at the same time laying bare the absurdity of the present solutions to political and social problems, most of which are created by government to begin with." 

So McAfee likes crypto due to the individual economic freedom it enables. Economic freedom and opposition to central government's monetary policy is definitely an important element of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. As usual, the economy was a key focus of the last election cycle, and very little of substance has been done to address the issues that were raised back then, so people might be willing to listen to McAfee when he talks about how crypto can point the way forward.

Read more: Who is John McAfee and what is his link to cryptocurrency?

Regardless of their opinion of the man himself, many in the crypto community are excited about the idea of someone as independent and fearless as McAfee discussing the potential of cryptocurrencies in front of so many people, on a national and possibly even global stage.

As great as it will be for crypto to get this much attention, it is possible that McAfee might not be the most respectable crypto spokesperson, for people who don't know much about it. His campaign manager admits that he is "ill-equipped to run a “better” campaign than the other candidates...unwilling to feign respectability while smearing opponents, unwilling to define legitimacy in the eyes of tyrants as my goal and, at the end of the day, unwilling to take a stab at fooling the greatest number of active voters, a minority of the population, all to win the office of President – an empty prize that serves only to distract people further."

Many people associate Bitcoin with weird online subcultures as well as the shady marketplace Silk Road, and the mainstream belief that crypto is closely linked to illegal activities of various kinds has been reflected in the way that legislators approach it. The task of explaining exactly how crypto can help ordinary people isn't as easy as it seems, and as influential as he is, McAfee doesn't have quite the level of expertise and authority of a crypto figure like Vitalik or Charlie Lee. And as someone directly involved with a number of crypto projects, his evangelizing about crypto might just seem like advertising or self-promotion.

So do we trust voters to actually listen to what McAfee has to say about the technology? Is there a chance that McAfee and his team might end up giving the public an even worse impression of cryptocurrencies than it already has? Or will the McAfee 2020 campaign kick the crypto market back into gear and accelerate its ascent to global domination? Whatever happens, it will probably be just as entertaining as anything else John McAfee has done over the course of his extraordinary life, and will most definitely result in more interest in the cryptocurrency space by people who aren't introduced to it yet. 

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John McAfee in 2016 on his presidential campaign: 

Read more about: John McAfee

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