Incarcerated computer legend John McAfee says he’s stunned by the price of Dogecoin.
Speaking from behind bars in a Spanish jail after being banged up on charges of cryptocurrency fraud and tax evasion, the 75-year-old was apparently shocked to hear the crypto hailed by Elon Musk and Snoop Dogg was now changing hands for as much as 30 cents a unit.
McAfee hinted earlier this year that it was his involvement with Doge – a cryptocurrency that was launched as a joke seven years ago – that led to US authorities hunting him down on various charges. The entrepreneur had tweeted about the digital asset, allegedly elevating its value.
The programming veteran told his devoted wife, Janice, with whom he speaks every day, that he was doing well but was keen to get out of prison.
“He’s hanging tough but anxious to get the hell out of there,” Janice revealed.
“I keep him up to date with all the latest news and he was shocked to hear the price of Doge!”
She added that her husband was working hard to brush up on Spanish in order to overcome the language barrier in the sprawling jail outside Barcelona.
“There are a few inmates that speak English well enough for John to have conversations with so that has helped him to not feel so isolated,” she said.
“The main language spoken there is Catalan but he’s working with an inmate who speaks Spanish slow enough to help him practice.”
McAfee himself has been able to tweet on occasion from inside the prison, occasionally raising concern over his welfare.
Yesterday, he posted a melancholic message that triggered a few alarm bells for concerned well-wishers.
“I have been imprisoned in Catalonia nearly seven months,” he lamented.
“I speak no Catalan and little Spanish so human contact is limited. There are no entertainments – no escape from loneliness, from emptiness, from myself.
“This has been the most trying period of my life.”
Despite huge concern for her husband’s wellbeing, Mrs McAfee stressed he was in good spirits and making the best of a bad situation.
“The inmates are extremely protective of their Papa America and they all look out for him,” she added.
“Most of the inmates don’t have any front teeth because of fighting so John’s become the go-to-guy for removing filters from cigarettes and opening condiment packets!
“I’m sure he will figure out how to turn that into a business of some sort.”
McAfee is facing extradition to the US where is accused of promoting various cryptocurrencies through social media in order to inflate prices before selling them off for £1.45m ($2m).
Prosecutors in New York are citing allegations from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission which raised concern about McAfee’s use of Twitter to promote digital assets to his one million followers.
According to files submitted to the Federal Court in Manhattan, McAfee and his personal bodyguard Jimmy Watson Junior are alleged to have been selling crypto assets once they had been able to inflate their prices. The files allege they also landed some £8m ($11m) from various fledgling cryptocurrency organisations as payments to promote the start-ups.
McAfee, however, slammed the accusations as “overblown” and insisted he was not guilty of any wrongdoing with cryptocurrencies.