John McAfee’s Campaign Against HitBTC May Be Motivated by Withdrawal Fees

  • John McAfee recently launched a campaign against crypto exchange HitBTC.
  • The campaign, new data suggests, may have been motivated by the exchange's withdrawal fees.

As recently reported, eccentric cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee launched a campaign against popular cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC, accusing it of not being “truly interested in helping the poor.” The campaign, new data suggests, may be motivated by HitBTC’s withdrawal fees for a specific token.

In his campaign, McAfee called for his over 845,000 twitter followers to boycott HitBTC as the company hadn’t done anything to help people “access the only free healthcare in the world.”  At the time, it seemed the campaign was launched because one of McAfee’s Crypto Team members had his account frozen by the exchange.

HitBTC’s reply clarifies that the issue is related to the exchange’s withdrawal fees on a cryptocurrency.

In its reply, HitBTC reveals that its withdrawal fees are high because it pays the ETH required to send transactions through the network. Since most users don’t have ETH to pay for it on their accounts, the exchange raises the fee in the token being withdrawn.

It notes that McAfee’s input would be welcomed, specifically if he has an “algorithmic solution” that could help out. One of the solutions HitBTC brought forth would involve it actively monitor the price of tokens being withdrawn so it won’t overcharge users. The exchange’s reply reads:

We do not see a problem either in monitoring token prices and automatically updating them on an hourly basis on in correcting the commission manually in particular cases – the way we have made a manual adjustment for the token we are talking about. But some of the assets still are more volatile so their price can change within an hour.


Notably, a project McAfee is invested in, Docademic (MTC), allegedly gives its users access to free health care. According to its whitepaper, it’s been around since 2016 and offers a free Telemedicine service that connects users to doctors. It uses blockchain technology to record patient data “starting with their first contact with a doctor through our DOCADEMIC APP.”

According to John McAfee’s tweets, Docademic doctors helped him when it was necessary, presumably after he was spiked and left for dead. In a subsequent tweet, the eccentric cybersecurity pioneer revealed that while he has invested in the crypto startup, this isn’t about its token.

Per McAfee, HitBTC’s “unethical tactics cost me and everyone money.” Replying to him, various social media users alleged the exchange has been selectively scamming, and barely replies to support tickets. As covered, it recently barred Japanese users from its platform, and is set to launch a licensed subsidiary in the country in Q3 this year.

Notably, Docademic’s MTC token, at press time, sees well over 60 percent of its trading volume happen on HitBTC, as the exchange listed the token against BTC, USDT, and ETH. The firm’s token is currently trading at $0.258 after falling over 7 percent in the last 24-hour period.

Binance ‘Unknowingly’ Earns $775K via Staking, Set to Launch Huge XLM Giveaway

On Thursday (July 18), Binance, the world's largest cryptoasset exchange (by adjusted trading volume), made a rather interesting announcement: it had "unknowingly" earned 9.5 million Stellar Lumen (XLM) tokens through staking rewards, and it is going to give all of it away to all Binance users who maintain XLM balances between July 20 and September 1.

Binance explained via a blog post that in August 2018 the Binance team followed the advice of the Stellar Development Foundation "to change some parameters on both cold and hot wallets," which resulted in the exchange "unknowingly" earning staking rewards for its XLM holdings since 31 August 2018.

Then, this week, while the Binance team was considering the idea of adding support for XLM staking, it found out that Binance had earned around 9.5 million XLM tokens (each of which was worth approximately $0.08157 at the time). Binance notes that all "weekly staking rewards between then and now are documented on the blockchain." 

So, the team made two decisions:

  • add support for XLM staking to; and
  • give away the aforementioned staking rewards to the Binance community (i.e. Binance users).

This is not the first time that Binance has added staking support to The exchange already "distributes NeoGas for NEO holders, Ontology Gas for Ontology holders, VTHO for VeChain holders, and BitTorrent tokens for TRON tokens."

Here is how this 9.5 million XLM giveaway is going to happen.

From July 20, Binance will support XLM staking. Between this date and September 1, Binance will take "daily snapshots" of XLM balances in Binance user accounts.

Then, on September 1, Binance will "tally average user XLM balances based on these snapshots," and process the distribution of staking rewards to these user accounts (that maintained XLM balances during the staking period). Furthermore, the roughly 9.5 million XLM tokens that Binance has unknowingly earned to date will be distributed as a bonus payment to all Binance users who jave maintained non-zero XLM balances since July 20. 

Binance says in its blog post that it estimates this "one-time distribution of 9,500,000 XLM shared proportionately among Binance users" to be worth "10 to 12 months of typical monthly rewards."

According to a support article published on July 18, here are the details of Binance's "Monthly XLM Staking Airdrop Program":

  • Binance will start these daily XLM balance snapshots at 00:00 (UTC) on 20 July 2019.
  • This is how Binance will calculate the XLM staking distribution:

XLM generated by each user = Total XLM staking rewards received by Binance * User XLM holdings ratio. User XLM holdings ratio = User XLM holdings / Total XLM staked by Binance.

  •  In order to qualify for XLM staking rewards, Binance users must have a balance of at least 10 XLM.
  • This initial distribution of XLM staking rewards will be calculated until 1 September 2019, "with the total amount distributed equal to the staking rewards accrued on holdings during the 43 day period."
  • These XLM staking rewards are calculated on a daily basis and are distributed monthly. 
  • XLM distrubutions will be "completed before the 5th of each month."

In other Binance news, another support article explained that Binance's Margin Trading platform has added support for two margin assets (EOS and LINK), three borrowable assets (BNB, EOS, and LINK), and three margin pairs (EOS/USDT, EOS/BTC, LINK/USDT, LINKBTC).

Binance's announcement about its 9.5 million XLM giveaway may have helped the XLM price. According to CryptoCompare, XLM is currently trading at $0.08914, up 7.96% in the past 24-hour period:

XLM-USD 24-Hour Chart on 18 July 2019.png

Featured Image Courtesy of Binance