Did John McAfee Put a Dead Man’s Switch on Ethereum?

Key Takeaways

  • Tech entrepreneur John McAfee was reported dead yesterday after allegedly committing suicide in his Spanish prison cell.
  • Some have speculated that McAfee had a dead man’s switch designed to leak government data upon his death.
  • It is not clear that McAfee had such a plan, and if he did, it is unlikely that he used the Ethereum blockchain.

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Rogue tech entrepreneur John McAfee was reported dead after committing suicide in his Spanish prison cell yesterday. Now, rumors of a blockchain-based “dead man’s switch” have emerged.

Did McAfee Post a Crypto Key on Instagram?

Shortly after McAfee’s death was reported, an image with the letter “Q” was posted to McAfee’s Instagram account. Later, McAfee’s entire account, including the post, was deleted.

Snapshot of McAfee’s Instagram page, via independent.co.uk

The letter “Q” was seemingly a reference to the conspiracy group QAnon. That led some to believe that McAfee’s death had triggered a system that would leak secret government information.

Those who were able to access the image claimed that the image contained an Ethereum address key. However, those claims were incorrect. The string began with FBMD, indicating that the text was Facebook metadata, as is standard across the site.

Though some have suggested that the metadata contained a blockchain key in hexadecimal code, there does not seem to be any meaningful data in the string when it is converted from hex code.

Did McAfee Use Ethereum?

Others have drawn attention to recent activity concerning McAfee’s WHACKD token on the Ethereum blockchain.

McAfee launched the WHACKD token in November 2019. At that time, he expressed the belief that he would be killed by government agents under the guise of suicide, similar to conspiracy theories that emerged around the death of Jeffrey Epstein in 2019.

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