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John McAfee resurfaces with a bang as adviser to crypto startup

(Bloomberg) -- John McAfee disappeared from the public markets after MGT Capital Inc. severed ties with the controversial antivirus software developer, but now he’s back and advising a cryptocurrency startup that’s conducting an initial coin offering.

McAfee is joining CryptoSecure, a firm that says it offers “hackproof security solutions” for the digital-coin industry, as senior strategic adviser, according to a press release Wednesday. Key Capital Corp., a company focused on precious-metal mining, fintech and cancer treatments, is leading development at the startup. Shares of Key Capital, which trade over the counter, surged almost 400 percent after the announcement.

“Mr. McAfee met the CryptoSecure team on a recent Blockchain cruise conference at which he was the keynote speaker,” the statement said. “During an early morning discussion on the security deficiencies of the cryptocurrency market, he was appraised of CryptoSecure’s military-grade hybrid Blockchain, Trusted Solaris OS, One Time Pad infrastructure project.”

MGT, the cybersecurity company that shifted its focus to Bitcoin mining, said in January that it was parting ways with McAfee. He’d been serving as “chief cybersecurity visionary,” a position he took in August after resigning as chairman and chief executive officer amid a company reorganization.

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John McAfee, founder of McAfee Associates Inc. and chief cybersecurity visionary at MGT Capital Investments Inc., left, speaks during an RT television network interview during a Coinsbank Blockchain Cruise Asia conference event at Paradise Beach in Phuket, Thailand, on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. When 600 cryptocurrency enthusiasts set sail from Singapore on Monday night for their second annual Blockchain Cruise, the price of Bitcoin was hovering comfortably above $13,500. By the time their 1,021-foot-long ship pulled into Thailand on Wednesday, for an afternoon of bottomless drinks and crypto-focused talks on a sun-soaked private beach, Bitcoin had cratered to $10,000. Photograph: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg

The decision was “totally amicable,” MGT Chief Executive Officer Robert Ladd said in an interview at the time, though he added that the company, which had its shares delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in October 2016, was “getting some feedback that in order to get uplisted etc. it might be easier to not have John McAfee be an officer or director of the company.” McAfee had said the decision was mutual.

McAfee confirmed Wednesday in an email that he is advising CryptoSecure.