John McAfee, the eccentric crypto-advocate and cyber-security pioneer, has said today that he will no longer be promoting ICOs due to “threats” from the SEC.
Tweeting early this morning to his 828,000 followers, the famous figure said he will completely rein in his frequent promotions and recommendations of ICOs:
Due to SEC threats, I am no longer working with ICOs nor am I recommending them, and those doing ICOs can all look forward to arrest. It is unjust but it is reality. I am writing an article on an equivalent alternative to ICOs which the SEC cannot touch. Please have Patience.— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) June 19, 2018
While McAfee originally gained renown through his eponymous antivirus software in the early 1990s, he has since moved on to a variety of projects and pursuits, and in the last few years become a prominent voice in the cryptocurrency and blockchain community.
Often enthusing about the broader cryptocurrency cause and it’s role in the libertarian and decentralised future he envisions, McAfee has also offered regular recommendations of ICOs - in March tweeting a link that showed he was paid $105,000 to promote an ICO.
While the SEC offered some much-needed relief to cryptocurrency markets last week with its statement that bitcoin and ether are not deemed to be securities, the comments also placed the massive ICO market under greater scrutiny as the regulator confirmed that it does consider ICOs to be securities.
With this announcement and the seemingly never-ending stream of ICO scams, the role of paid promoters seems to be increasingly precarious - as some suggest that promoters may be acting as unregistered brokers.
While McAfee did not specify the precise nature of the “threats” against him, this latest move from one of the most prominent figures in the space will be seen by many as indicative of the direction in which the ICO market is heading.