I recently had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with John McAfee both privately and on my show called The Coin Chat. For those of you that haven’t been following him, John McAfee departed from the US as a result of a grand jury related to potential tax fraud charges. He is also running as Libertarian for the US President 2020 elections.
First off what I realized from John is his amazing depth of knowledge, clarity and understanding of what is going on in the world around him. I’m not saying that his point of view is the right or wrong, only that he is very articulate in his views and has an amazing amount of clarity.
So why has McAfee gone on the run?
Well it’s an interesting question. He has openly been saying for a long time that the IRS would eventually target him for openly supporting privacy coins. He told me and says publicly that he has not filed his taxes and also believes that the US doesn’t have a constitutional right to tax due to some of the history of how taxation started within the US.
“Most Libertarians believe taxation is theft. Number one it is illegal according to the American Constitution and we survived as a nation for over a hundred years up until the Civil War with no income taxes.” – John McAfee (Interview on The Coin Chat with Steve Good)
However, he told me that he has been filing documents every year with the IRS to indicate why he was not filing taxes. Does this amount to tax evasion and fraud however? I think that is an entirely separate question and one which John points out might be more about governments creating fear and control by targeting a high profile individual.
The IRS convened a grand jury in the US in order to start a legal process against John, his wife and a number of other associates who have remained unnamed. He had been tipped off that this process was going to take place and as a result decided that he wanted his freedom of expression more than being silenced in a jail. Is he wrong for doing this? Its an interesting topic that I am sure will bring much debate about a number of legal actions taken place on both sides and whether or not there is a bigger picture behind all of this
So what’s the link between the privacy coins and the tax office (IRS) anyway?
Well fundamentally many of us in cryptocurrency are aware of the variety of privacy coins that have appeared over the past few years with the increasing number of them that are showing up. And why are these important? They provide us a level or layer of protection on our assets so that what we hold or what we send remains private. The issue is that governments and tax offices around the world can not track these coins much the way they can track our funds when we move it between banks.
“Here’s the issue I have stated all along a war is coming. Governments are not going to take cryptocurrency privacy coins lying down. I’ve said a war will not be pleasant. It’s not gonna be fought with bullets it’s gonna be fought with fear and with criminal prosecutions.” -John McAfee (Interview on The Coin Chat with Steve Good)
The paradigm of having bank accounts which are private isn’t really that different from keeping our coins private. After all it is our right to have our own money kept private, isn’t it?
The issue that John pointed out which is really a rather interesting argument is this. Companies of all types have to evolve and innovate and change every 3-5 years in order to stay relevant and to continue to grow and attract new customers. You know the expression “evolve or die?” Well that was pretty much what John was expressing to me. And what he observed was that whilst we have seen companies do this, his question was how come the tax offices haven’t evolved in any meaningful way in nearly a century? Sure they keep adding new tax codes, laws and ways to tax us more. But in essence the process of taxation hasn’t evolved or changed with the times. And to his point, if we have privacy coins then surely governments can also evolve the tax laws in other more efficient ways that will allow the systems to evolve and change too. In other words, the tax offices could decide to be a part of the system rather than fight to maintain the old methods.
Is he wrong in thinking this? Somehow I found myself agreeing with his logic that privacy is a right we all have and equally that all companies including government bodies also need to change and evolve over time. The idea of evolving, innovating and change is what resonated with me the most.
As I said from the outset, I just run a show called The Coin Chat, so first and foremost my duty is to provide a platform where people can express themselves so that we all have an opportunity to hear from people and to form our own opinions as a result. Ultimately its not for me to judge whether my listeners or viewers agree with any of our guests or their point of views. My aim is to provide my listeners with a variety of guests with various points of view in crypto so that we evolve together. But interviewing John McAfee was certainly eye opening, inspiring and gave me a lot to think about too.
To listen to the full interview I had with John McAfee. You can check it out here: https://youtu.be/D6KkV_9pYvE
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