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 Since most users don’t have ETH to pay for it on their accounts, the exchange raises the fee in the token being withdrawn.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 One of the solutions HitBTC brought forth would involve it actively monitor the price of tokens being withdrawn so it won’t overcharge users.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.

HitBTC

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.

Overstock CEO Sells Shares in His Company to Invest in Blockchain Projects

Patrick Byrne, the chief executive officer of Overstock.com (OSTK), has recently lashed out at investors who questioned his sale of 900,000 of his ‘founders shares’ in the company. Justifying his move, he revealed he needed the funds to invest in blockchain projects.

According to Business Insider, Byrne recently sent a letter to shareholders after the company’s stock prices plunged over 21% this week to their lowest since 2012, after he revealed he sold 500,000 of his shares earlier this week.

On Friday, the CEO revealed he sold an additional 400,000 shares, meaning he sold over 15% of his stake in the company. Although Overstock’s shares recovered on Friday, May 17, Byrne’s letter to shareholders was notable. In it, he wrote:

I simply had to supplement my nominal salary with stock sales in order to fulfill personal commitments to invest personally in blockchain projects such as Medici Land Governance, along with a need to meet charitable pledges.

The CEO added that he doesn’t plan on giving such an explanation again, justifying that he owes shareholders “staying within the law and not making decisions based on inside information, not explanations of my life and projects outside Overstock.”

He noted that the “unanticipated stir” caused by his sale was unexpected, and added “I had no idea that shareholders would demand explanations of why and how I might want to use my cash derived from my labor and my property to pursue my ends in life.”

Byrne is notably Overstock’s largest shareholder, and noted he told investors a year ago he would be making “significant sales” to fund different projects, including those related to blockchain technologies and, presumably, cryptocurrencies.

In fact, the libertarian sold 775,000 of his shares in September of last year, before this week’s sale. The stock’s price has fallen roughly 90% from its record high in January of 2018, when Overstock was benefitting from its cryptocurrency ventures and accompanying the cryptocurrency market’s performance.

In November of last year, Byrne revealed he had plans to sell Overstock’s retail business and go “all-in” on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The CEO’s plan would see the company focus on its fully-owned subsidiary Medici Ventures, which has been invested in blockchain-related startups, after selling its retail business.

Overstock's price performance over the last two yearsSource: Yahoo Finance

Byrne has notably been battling short sellers targeting Overstock, as the firm competes with the likes of eBay and Amazon. Financial analytics firm S3 Partners has estimated short bets against it stand at $157 million, or 50% of its float. This makes it more targeted by short sellers than 99% of companies in the U.S.

Despite the company’s performance on exchanges, Overstock has since launched its tZERO security trading platform, and was one of the first companies to pay a “portion” of its taxes using bitcoin in Ohio.