Bitcoin bets, ranging from predictions the cryptocurrency would soon to be worth millions to forecasts it would fade into obscurity, are easily made and more easily forgotten.
The bitcoin price explosion over the last few years took most by surprise with some bravely betting the bull run would never end.
Now, John McAfee, the controversial and outspoken one-time software pioneer-turned international playboy, has revealed his famous promise to “eat my dick” if bitcoin wasn’t worth $1 million by the end of 2020 was nothing more than a ploy to gain attention and followers—leaving many bitterly disappointed.
“Eat my dick in 12 months? A ruse to onboard new users,” McAfee said via Twitter.
“It worked. Bitcoin was first. It’s an ancient technology. All know it. Newer blockchains have privacy, smart contracts, distributed apps and more,” adding that bitcoin is to cryptocurrency what the Ford Model T was to cars.
A little over two years ago, McAfee upped his previous prediction that bitcoin would be worth $500,000 by the end of 2020, claiming he used an out-of-date model that predicted a single bitcoin would be worth $5,000 at the end of 2017. The bitcoin price at the end of 2017 was almost $20,000 after an epic, ballooning bull run through the last month of the year.
“[Bitcoin] has accelerated much faster than my model assumptions,” McAfee said in November 2017. “I now predict bitcoin at $1 million by the end of 2020. I will still eat my dick if wrong.”
The bitcoin price would have to climb around 14,000% between now and the end of the year for McAfee win his bet with the Dickening countdown website, named after the crypto community’s name for the bitcoin halving, keeping track of the odds.
McAfee, who is planning to repeat his 2016 run for U.S. president this year, has now said the vow to “eat my dick” resulted in “onboarding 10,000 new users to crypto,” adding that he doesn’t care what the bitcoin price will be in two years time and bitcoin is “irrelevant” to cryptocurrency.
McAfee also named privacy-focused cryptocurrency monero as his digital token and blockchain of choice but poured scorn on the controversial XRP token created by U.S.-based company Ripple.
The bitcoin price has outperformed almost all other major cryptocurrencies over the last two years, with many smaller bitcoin-rivals losing almost all their value.
Meanwhile, many are still confident bitcoin is the cryptocurrency to back.
A little over a year ago, Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and partner at bitcoin and cryptocurrency-focused asset manager Morgan Creek Digital, put up a $1 million wager that the performance of the top ten biggest cryptocurrencies will prove to be a better investment than the biggest U.S. stocks and shares.
Others have made less headline grabbing bitcoin bets, with the billionaire PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel last year upping his stake in a renewable energy-focused bitcoin mining operation based in San Francisco.
In October, widely-respected bitcoin analyst PlanB, who created the so-called stock-to-flow bitcoin pricing model, reiterated his expectation that bitcoin will hit $100,000 before Christmas 2021.