John McAfee. Genius, IT millionaire, gang leader, antivirus creator

On June 23, the founder of the McAfee antivirus program, John McAfee, was found dead in his cell, in one of the Spanish prisons. The medical staff of the institution could not save his life. The cause of death was suicide.

We will tell you who John McAfee was and what he will be remembered for in this article.

Early years

On September 18, 1945, in the city of Salem, which is located in Scotland, the future creator of the antivirus was born. From an early age, our hero had to go through family grief. Mcafee’s father had an alcohol addiction and, unable to cope with life’s problems, decided to commit suicide. John was 15 years old at the time. Such an event did not pass without a trace and our hero, from adolescence, as well as his father, began to drink alcoholic beverages. But this dependence did not prevent him from getting a mathematical education, which soon helped him get a job at a computer company, where he began to study the basic skills of a programmer. Later, with this knowledge, he got a job at the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The job was to calibrate the train schedule using the IMB computer. At the same time, John began to use narcotic substances. One day he decided to try the psychedelic DMT, without understanding what this drug can cause consequences, he uses the whole bag at a time. As a result, he received a severe overdose. This clouded his mind and he could no longer return to his official duties.


In the early 1980s, John worked for Lockheed. In 1986, the world learned that their personal computers could become victims of attacks. This happened thanks to two guys from Pakistan. They created the first computer virus in history and gave it the name “Brain”. The creators of the malware themselves said that they wanted to create just software to protect their computers from piracy. Interestingly, the brothers are now the owners of the largest telecommunications company in Pakistan. Then John was excited about it, he took a sample of the “Brain” virus, took a team of programmers and began working on creating the world’s first antivirus called “VirusScan + McAfee”. McAfee did not take long to wait and in 1987 created the company “McAfee Associates”. McAfee started distributing his product for free, with one condition that it can be installed for private use for free. But legal entities had to pay for an antivirus. The business began to develop rapidly, and along with this, John became a media person. He liked to give interviews to various media outlets, where he talked about the fact that soon the world may be mired in computer viruses, you can only protect yourself from them by using his antivirus. At that time, his company was able to cover 67% of the entire antivirus market. It is worth recalling that John used drugs and this affected corporate ethics. Everything that happened inside the company was similar to what the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” showed us, with one difference-instead of brokers, there were programmers. McAfee left the company in 1994. The company continued to exist without its founder. Only later did the merger with Network General take place and the name McAfee Associates was renamed Network Associates. Seven years later, the company was rebranded and received a new name-McAfee, Inc.

In 2010, Intel acquired McAfee, Inc. Since 2014, Intel has announced that all McAfee products will be sold under the name «Intel Security». John reacted with joy by saying that finally the worst software would no longer be sold under his name. It is worth noting that from the sale of shares «McAfee Associates» John has managed to earn about $100 million.

Life after McAfee and moving to Belize

When McAfee was over, John decided to start doing whatever he wanted. He lectured students, worked on writing a messenger, and opened a yoga institute. After all this, he decided to leave the United States and went to Belize. In 2009, The New York Times assessed Makafi’s condition and found that his savings had declined significantly, from $100 million to $4 million. John denied it. The collapse of a millionaire’s capital is due to the global financial crisis of 2008. As John himself later said in an interview that took place in Belize for CNBC, he spent many years investing in the construction of American mansions and it is understandable that they were not sold because of the global recession in 2007. He later founded QuorumEx in Belize. The company produced antibiotics. John soon began selling cigars, coffee, and a water taxi. Later, he became paranoid and thought he was being followed and wanted to be killed. For that matter, he’s hiring ex-SEALs and mercenaries to protect him. He could not be seen without several prostitutes and armed men. Dogs were also guarding his house. Soon after, they were poisoned, and John began to suspect his neighbor, who often complained that dogs bark constantly and do not give rest. In 2012, this neighbor was found dead in his house. The cause of death was a gunshot wound. The primary suspect was John. He then decided to flee to Guatemala. But there he was caught by the local police. McAfee wanted to be deported back to Belize, which he didn’t want. So he faked a heart attack twice to buy time for his lawyer, who was preparing documents for extradition to the United States. The lawyer was eventually able to do what was required of him and McAfee was sent to the United States.

New projects in the USA

When McAfee returned to the United States, he had a desire to become president. He even founded a political party and gave it the name “The Cyber Party”. But, not surprisingly, he failed to become the head of the country and McAfee began to think about other projects. The next thing that the creator of the antivirus decided to direct his forces to was the cryptocurrency. John began to thoroughly immerse himself in the industry in 2017. He began actively posting posts on his Twitter about crypto assets. Against this background, he began to be called as the advertising face of a particular crypto project. We can give an example of one of them – it was Bitcoiin2gen (B2G). After he started to be considered the representative of the coin, its price increased several times, and on the coinmarketcap B2G began to occupy 400+ places. But it’s time to leave the project. When the community learned that McAfee was simply a paid-for media personality rather than a coin, its price immediately depreciated at the same coinmarketcap position quickly descended to 1700+ position.

Of course, it is worth mentioning his analyst on asset cryptography. He often made projections that were fundamentally different from those of other analysts. Take even his projections for 2021, when he predicted that Bitcoin would rise to $2 million.

Last year of life

Even though McAfee once managed to evade arrest, he was unlucky for the second time. In the autumn of 2020, the Spanish police arrested John at Barcelona Airport. The SEC charged him with tax evasion between 2014 and 2018. He was looking at 30 years in prison. On October 15 of the same year, on his official Twitter account, he said he was satisfied with the terms of the camera and was satisfied with it. He did not plan suicide. In one of his last tweets, he wrote: «All my comrades have turned away from me. The remaining assets were confiscated. I have nothing left, but I have nothing to regret»


John lived an interesting life, and the crypto community will remember him for a long time, thanks to chaotic forecasts and harsh statements. At the end of his life, McAfee realized that the crypto industry is a promising and developing area with great growth potential. 

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