In an exclusive interview with AMBCrypto, prominent crypto-influencer John McAfee spoke about centralized exchanges and the natural progression of the cryptocurrency market. He also elaborated upon his boycott on the exchange platform HitBTC, while quoting his personal experiences with the CEO of the exchange.
When asked about his opinion of centralized exchanges as an onramp into the cryptocurrency world and their necessity, McAfee said that we were using them as there was no alternative currently. Moreover, he stated:
“Unfortunately, here’s the problem with centralized exchanges. Unlike exchanges like the NYSE, CBOE or NASDAQ, where you’re localized, you can walk into their offices. Where is HitBTC? Where are they located? That’s a security situation to provide so much power to an entity which is essentially anonymous.”
HitBTC is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that is currently under a boycott by McAfee owing to around 400 documented cases of outright theft. He said that his personal experience with the exchange was “horrible”, stating that the CEO of the exchange was an “arrogant motherf***er.
McAfee even stated that the executive almost threatened him. He went on to say:
“First of all he almost threatened me. He said ‘how do you know that I’m not involved with very powerful people’. I said, ‘Well, you probably are so you think that matters to me? It does not.’ That is not a business attitude, but we see it everywhere in the crypto world because they’ve got the power.”`
Speaking on the pitfalls of an anonymous centralized exchange platforms, McAfee stated that there was a lot of power concentrated in one spot due to the amount of money they hold. He stated:
“You’re an anonymous entity and you’ve got literally hundreds of millions of dollars in deposits. No one knows who you are, nobody knows where you are, and you have to provide some level of service for people to keep using you. So you provide the minimal service, and you use the maximal power to keep people’s money for an extended period because you’ve got interest you can do things with it.”
Moreover, he went on to say that it was no one’s fault that the industry was like this, as it was the “natural flowering of an industry”. However, McAfee believes that the time has come to “stop the excessive corruption” and “outright illegal gangster almost activities”. He stated:
“I’m sorry that I singled out HitBTC, but they are the most arrogant, because they’re the hardest to find. We can find registration in various countries, but that’s the end of it.”
McAfee painted a more optimistic future, as distributed exchanges are set to come in. Decentralized exchanges allow users to interact and trade with each other without the need for a centralized party. This means that the trades will be executed in a Peer-to-Peer fashion, and through technologies such as atomic swap across blockchains. McAfee stated:
When distributed exchanges come in…then there’s no body in control. The distributed nature of the transaction is in control. The mathematics cannot cheat you. There’s no power that can get you now.”