John Mcafee’s Dick, Million Dollars, and Other Famous Bitcoin Price Promises Never Kept

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The crypto-market has always been full of predictions but some people probably find it too boring and extend challenges that put their financial welfare or even bodies at risk. But are they willing to fulfill their promises?

Supper’s Ready, Mr. McAfee

Possibly the most famous instance of such a bet is John McAfee. In July 2017, the extravagant entrepreneur promised to eat his dick on national TV if Bitcoin won’t worth $500k in three years’ time. Seeing the impressive Bitcoin price rally the same fall, he raised the bets to $1 million for 1 BTC by the end of 2020.

Enthusiasts created lots of web resources to track the state of affairs, like this one.

The price chart is logarithmic. This possibly creates an illusion that the price is almost there. Still, in actuality, it has to multiply by the factor of 20 to save John McAfee from a very adventurous lunch.

This, however, doesn’t seem to matter much now. Even though Mr. McAfee confirmed his prediction a few months ago, in January he said he was just kidding to attract new users. Not everyone was happy. McAfee himself got quite crabby.

Put Your Finger on Your Money

Still, John McAfee wasn’t alone in his extreme bets. The Russian entrepreneur Ilya Boyev announced in summer 2018 that he will chop off a phalanx on his pinkie finger if Bitcoin drops below $5,000 by the end of the year. In November 2018, Bitcoin was worth $4,000 and started growing only in 2019. In response, Mr. Boyev tattooed the prospective amputation like on his finger and started a vote to decide how to stream the chopping-off event.

In December 2018 Bitcoin hit the rock bottom at $3,200, and the trader back-pedaled. He claimed that everything was to show that experts should stand by what they say. How exactly his refusal to stand by his own words proves his point, remains to be understood.

A Gentlemen’s Agreement

The bet between Ronnie Moas, the founder of Standpoint Research, and Vinny Lingham, the head of Civic, also ended with a scandal. 

In November 2018, Lingham accepted Moas’s challenge and bet $20,000 on the fact that the Bitcoin price will not go over $28,000 by December 31, 2019. The losing party was to donate the money to which deals with legal issues of Ross Ulbricht, the imprisoned founder of Silk Road.

Lingham reminded Moas about his loss on the very first day of 2020. Instead of a decent response, he received accusations that he embezzled investors’ money as Civic’s tokens almost lost all their value. Moas also claimed he is willing to send the money to any organization listed on his website Philanthropy & Philosophy. Lingham decided this was not in a good spirit of the bet but got only more taunting from Moas.

The Long Run

The well-known trader Ton Veys offered a longstanding bet on Bitcoin price. He said he is willing to place a bet on the fact that the Bitcoin price will drop below $2,000 before the next halving in 2024. On the day when it happens, the loser will have to pay $200k to Mr. Veys. On the contrary, if it is Mr. Veys who loses the bet, he will pay $250k or 1 BTC, whichever is more expensive.

Another example of a “long bet” was offered by co-founders of Morgan Creek Digital who decided to replay the legendary bet of Warren Buffet. The “Omaha oracle” bet $1 million in 2027 that the S&P 500 will outperform five hedge funds and won. The founders of Morgan Creek Digital are similarly confident that their Digital Asset Index Fund (DAIF) will outperform S&P500 within the next 10 years and bet $1 million.

Notably, Bloomberg suggests it was DAIF that made a daring bet on Bitcoin in December 2017 by purchasing an option to buy Bitcoins at $50,000 which was almost three times as high as the actual price back then. The option contract expired in December 2018. Still, Business Insider has a different info: the option was purchased by BlockTower Capital. The contract was about the right to buy 275 BTC at $50,000 until December 28, 2018. In any case, the actual Bitcoin price on that date was around $3,900.

Something Is Crabby

There was also an attempt to bet Bitcoin on Bitcoin price but everything turned pretty weird. After the July peaks in 2019, the first cryptocurrency’s price started gradually declining. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted on August 2 and then on August 6 that selling Bitcoin under $10,000 would be a self-inflicted wound.

In response, Twitter user Kra₿₿y (@BitKrabs) claimed that he will personally send 10 BTC to Zhao if the price doesn’t drop below $8,000 by the end of the month. In actuality, the first cryptocurrency passed that mark in late September. It is unknown whether Kra₿₿y delivered on his promise. Still, his account became suspended and the tweets unavailable. The alleged new owner of the account claimed that he wasn’t the real BitKrabs and made some fun of his predecessor.

Considering the first cryptocurrency’s volatility and growing popularity, it seems unlikely that people will stop making daring predictions about its price. After John McAfee’s demarche, it looks like nobody will take body parts as bets from now on. But will the predictors actually deliver on their promises even if they are purely financial?

Written by Andrew Pleschenko

Translated and edited by Jenny Aysgarth

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