By Spencer Kellogg | USA
My dad called me on the phone with a staccato anxiety in his voice: “Do you think I should buy Verge?” – “No, Dad, don’t buy Verge.” He didn’t. You see my father lives on the outskirts of the crypto realm, holding big caps and sprinkling on projects he likes (shoutout $SALT & $OMG). He is not on twitter 24/7 watching in horror as the red-blooded madness unfolds through equally manic fits of delight and terror. He did not know that it was McAfee’s tweet about Verge that sent the coin parabolic and headed on a moon mission without a jetpack. As of this post, Verge is down almost 40% on the day and many in the crypto community are venting their frustration with McAfee in the form of outright condemnation. In a whirlwind of speculation, this past week alone, McAfee has used his Twitter to “highlight” such coins as Electroneum (ETN), Burst (BURST), Reddcoin (RDD), Digibyte (DGB) and today Humaniq (HMQ). While he has every right to his free speech and to discuss what he does and doesn’t like about certain technology on the blockchain, it’s apparent that his opinions on any particular currency carry substantial weight and can cause massive swings in market cap and user consensus. With rumors circulating that McAfee will promote any coin if someone is willing to pay him a fee, many are beginning to question the ethics of a man who simply refuses to be questioned.
Should McAfee know better? Is it a bad look for the entire community if one person is directing pump and dumps with the single click of a button? Does it even matter? Many in the community were floored and excited when they saw the effect of McAfee’s power as he sent Verge flying to heights unseen through a single tweet. Traders spent the next week refreshing Twitter waiting for an update from the cyberpunk guru so they could jump on the next McAfee rocket while others were legitimately concerned and infuriated by the juvenile nature of our unregulated market. This isn’t the first time and this won’t be the last time that an influential market maker sends a coin flying (or dumping) through their opinion alone. With little real adoption to point to, much of cryptocurrency’s life cycle has been predicated on hype and hype alone.
Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has come under both criticism and adoration for his use of language on Twitter when describing his project with many investors and traders unashamedly begging for Lee to promote good news (even if there might not be any at all). One of the reasons I consider Lee a philosophical leader in the space is because of how he has handled this particular situation. Lee has refused to propagandize his coin’s progress and as such has gained much respect in the greater community while providing a stable market cap for his currency. When Lee sold his stack of Litecoin last week and warned investors about both his influence on the coin’s price and the high risk of collapse from an inflated market, he was met with disdain. Roger Ver can also be accused of similar tactics with his tweets regarding the debate over Bitcoin and his support for the forked Bitcoin Cash. Of course, opinions and coordinated pumping are two very different things… Much of this leaves me wondering about the rules and decorum of this space. Should there be any at all? Why are any of these men, who stuck their necks on the line to lead into a territory of global economic resistance, expected to act within the pragmatic parameters of their fathers stock market? What do they owe to anyone?
Perhaps McAfee owes more than he thinks. Some of the shrewder philosophers in the space pointed out that this type of bonanza market leads to FEDS pounding down doors. With greater extravagance comes greater heat from the boys in the blue. Others have pointed to the heavy disruption in flow that a pump without cause can create in the market with many new investors throwing cash at pumped projects only to lose big in the proceeding days and weeks. This does not help create stability in the market and keep investors around for the long haul. This can also create a stain on a coin as much of the market today is built strictly on publicity. Manufactured pumps also lend credence to the skepticism of the global banking elite who believe this a flash in the pan. Serial doubters like JP Morgan head Jamie Dimon can use this as evidence how bare and thin the market really is when it comes to use cause and adoption.
Personally, I like McAfee and his pumps. We are witnessing a once in a lifetime wealth creation that can literally change a person’s life in the span of a few days. Although my brain and portfolio have been tied down in other markets, I wouldn’t feel the least bit guilty about hopping onto one of McAfee’s pumps. McAfee is and will always remain a legend and a pioneer who set the pace while others looked cautiously at the road ahead. His speech at the 2016 Libertarian Convention remains one of the most prolific essays on freedom and liberty wrote by a presidential candidate. The FEDS are going to come no matter what we do. Everyone doubted us anyways. They can keep doubting. This isn’t their market, it’s ours. Fuck them all. Vote McAfee, Based God.