McAfee appeared on the left-wing podcast Aufhebunga Bunga on April 14, in an episode devoted to the political, economic and civic fault lines that have been exposed by the COVID-19 crisis.
Podcast host Phil Cunliffe, a senior lecturer at the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent, turned the discussion towards what the present conjuncture could mean for the digital economy and cryptocurrency sector in particular.
Hinting at the quantity theory of money that is commonly used to champion cryptocurrencies’ purported deflationary benefits — the idea that the fixed supply of an asset helps to prevent its devaluation — Cunliffe asked:
“Given the enormous [pandemic relief] fiscal stimulus, the fact that central banks are not even printing money but simply pushing the button to make money appear effectively out of nowhere. How does that affect your thinking about cryptocurrencies?”
To this McAfee responded:
“Nothing like this in the history of humankind has ever occurred, where the entire globe is locked down. I wish I could tell you what’s going to happen. I don’t know. Neither does anybody […] I can tell you this, that all fiat currencies will collapse.”
Pressed for a forecast as to when exactly fiat currencies would collapse amid an unprecedented state-enforced demobilization of the global economy, McAfee gave them “two months.”
How then, Cunliffe asked, should ordinary people struggling to survive the lockdown and provide for their families — those without, necessarily, the means to invest in Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies — weather the economic disruption?
“Buy food and water, nothing else matters. I do not know, neither do you, neither does anybody know what’s going to happen to cryptocurrency or fiat currency. All I know is the world is collapsing, and it will, absolutely, collapse. Food keeps you alive if you have enough […] Peanut butter, raisins and bread, you can live on that shit for years.”
McAfee pointed to the fact that people in far northern latitudes have long survived on a similar diet under conditions of hardship. Meanwhile, in the United States, peanut butter — and the peanut butter and jelly sandwich in particular — is said to have been popularized as a means of sustenance for armed forces during World War II.
McAfee repeatedly claimed that the death toll and risks posed by COVID-19 are minimal when compared with seasonal flu and, more broadly, with endemic poverty-induced disease. Reflecting on what citizens’ response to current state measures means for libertarianism, he said:
“My understanding of the human spirit has been radically faulty. […] not one person walked out of their house with a gun and said no, I’m not doing this, you have stolen from me my personal freedom.”
As reported this week, McAfee in lockdown has announced that he is now working on a new privacy coin called Ghost that is designed to give people full control over their finances.