Update: While Toronto’s Equibit Development Corporation announced today that John McAfee would join them as the company’s new Chief Security Officer, he’s recently taken to Twitter to deny these claims.
I advise companies for free because I believe the world needs cybersecurity direction. Equibit simply took advantage of this. Not cool.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 24, 2016
McAfee has recently commented on the news from Equibit, stating that his role has been largely exaggerated by the firm. He posted several tweets detailing how he serves as an advisor to several companies, while being paid nothing for his contribution.
Equibit has vastly exaggerated my role. I advise dozens of companies. I am being paid nothing. I advise the BOD.https://t.co/d2H982Wb0U
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 24, 2016
Hi wife, Janice McAfee joined her husband on Twitter to disparage the firm that allegedly falsely claimed to have hired McAfee as their CSO. In her tweets, she addresses Fortune and Venture Beat for falsely reporting that her husband would take on this role.
— Janice McAfee (@theemrsmcafee) November 24, 2016
McAfee and Associates founder John McAfee has joined a Toronto-based Blockchain startup called Equibit Development Corporation (EDC) as its Chief Security Officer.
Equibit Development Corporation is a Toronto-based blockchain security startup that specializes in the safe issuing of shares and protecting trades from hacks. The startup also handles other client services such as voting and registering new stock owners through its decentralized blockchain technology.
EDC’s applications combine Bitcoin and Bitmessage protocols with the company’s own blockchain, Equibit, to provide clients with a secure, peer-to-peer trading platform.
In a claim made earlier today, Equibit stated that McAfee will be reporting directly to the board rather than the CEO in his new role. While McAfee founded McAfee and Associates in 1987, he left the company in 1994. The company was later sold to Intel for $7.68 billion.
Since leaving McAfee and Associates, the entrepreneur has tried his hand at several startups. These include QuorumEx in 2010, a company focused on developing a new type of antibiotics, Future Tense in 2013 to create “D-Central,” a security network device, and Cognizant in 2014, an app that helps smartphone users understand what permissions they’ve granted to other apps.
“We’re honoured and thrilled to be working with John McAfee,” said Equibit CEO Chris Horlacher, who has an extensive background both in financial services management and entrepreneurship.
“With his input and ongoing guidance, EDC will continue to set the security standard for blockchain services. We share his unwavering commitment to IT security and, with his help, will continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in this industry,” Horlacher said in a statement.
In addition to launching several startups since leaving McAfee and Associates, McAfee reportedly fled Belize after being investigated for his connection to a murder that took place in the country. He has also often been suspected of abundant drug use and accused of sexual assault in the past. Furthermore, he was a presidential candidate for the Libertarian party this past year, but lost the nomination to Gary Johnson.
McAfee currently runs an incubator and holds the role of CEO and executive chairman of the John McAfee Global Technologies investment fund.
“Equibit Development Corporation has positioned itself to become a major player in the blockchain development field focused on the financial sector,” said McAfee in a statement.“With my guidance and advice, I anticipate the company to experience stellar growth and achievements,” said McAfee in a statement.
This announcement comes just a few weeks after EDC launched a beta testing program for the The Supernode — the first cryptocurrency node that performs all cryptographic operations (private key generation, encryption, decryption and digital signatures) in hardware rather than software.
As of February, 2016, EDC had closed a financing round with a $3 million USD valuation. The offering had been open for less than two months.
MobileSyrup reached out to EDC’s CEO Chris Horlacher on the development, who confirmed that McAfee’s role will be that of an auditor to ensure that the startup keeps with the industry’s best practices. He will report directly to the board.
Horlacher went on to say that McAfee will be conducting regular penetration testing of our software and infrastructure. Should he find anything, Horlacher writes that EDC will move to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.
“John has made no secret of his interest in Bitcoin and blockchain technology. He’s building one of the largest mining operations in the world. I can’t speak for him, but I believe that he understands the business case for something like Equibit and the value it brings to the securities industry,” commented Horlacher.
The startup’s CEO also went on to say that the more sensational stories about McAfee’s past are lacking in evidence, and would not comment further on the billionaire entrepreneur’s past.
“EDC is not in a position to comment on John’s personal and private history, however we find that the more sensational stories are severely lacking in evidence. It is his dedication to IT security that we share and can find no one more competent in this facet of the industry to be advising us.”
MobileSyrup has reached out to both McAfee and EDC’s CEO to comment on the most recent developments and will update with any information we receive.