A cryptocurrency conference has asked controversial industry personality John McAfee to cancel his live appearance at the event, citing “a number of credible death threats” against the cyber security pioneer.
According to statements posted on Twitter, McAfee was scheduled to speak in-person at the Blockchain World Conference this morning but was asked by the event organizers to appear via live stream instead due to concerns over the safety of attendees.
The conference tweeted:
“Due to a number of credible death threats against McAfee, The BWC team has been forced to request that @officialmcafee live stream his keynote speech at 11am EST, from a secret secure location. Mr. McAfee’s globally impacting message will not be silenced by the efforts of a few!”
McAfee later confirmed the report, stating that he would be “streaming from an undisclosed location” at the previously-scheduled time.
However, some have raised questions about whether McAfee, a well-known troll and provocateur, actually received death threats or concocted the allegations as a tone-deaf publicity stunt.
The “McAfee Redemption Unit” creator, as CCN has chronicled, has a colorful history, and it’s often difficult to decipher the line between reality and theatrics.
Last month, McAfee posted pictures from a hospital bed, claiming that unidentified “enemies” had poisoned him and knocked him unconscious for multiple days.
“I apologize for my three day absence but I was unconscious for two days at the Vidant Medical Center in North Carolina and just woke up. My enemies managed [sic] to spike something that I ingested,” he tweeted. “However, I am more difficult to kill than anyone can possibly imagine. I am back.”
Prior to that, he claimed to be on the run from the U.S. government, stating that he had purposely committed a felony “to call the SEC out” and had subsequently gone into hiding.
When reached for comment, the conference organizers declined to provide CCN with further details about the alleged death threats but denied that the incident was a publicity stunt designed to drum up media attention about the event.
“Yes we can,” organizers responded when asked to confirm that it was not a PR play. “Not a publicity stunt at all. This is all very real and we have to take strict precautions for John’s safety.”
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