McAfee Shilled a PIVX Ripoff, but Investors Don’t Seem to Mind

The John McAfee pump is back, and this time it's with a more ephemeral privacy coin.

Key Takeaways

  • Ghost is a ripoff of the open-source privacy coin PIVX, according to PIVX developers
  • Privacy-focused token Ghost has seen its value skyrocket since the beginning of the month
  • Retail investors have been pouring a lot of money into the project, with prices doubling in less than two weeks

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The John McAfee-endorsed Ghost token is up 100% since the start of the month, even though McAfee admitted it was a ripoff of the PIVX privacy coin.

Ghost Token Feels the McAfee Effect

Even before its launch, Ghost token has been surrounded by controversy. Nevertheless, the price of the token has skyrocketed since the beginning of the month. Ghost was endorsed by presidential candidate and known crypto shill John McAfee before its launch.

At launch on May 27, the Ghost token was worth around $1.12. On Jun. 9, when trading officially began, Ghost’s market cap increased from $0 to just over $24.4 million. The coin saw its price increase by more than 91% in two days.

Crypto analytics company Dapp Radar called this spike the “McAfee effect,” alluding to the once-inevitable price spike caused by the Coinbase effect.

Graph showing Ghost’s price chart from May 27 to Jun. 11
Graph showing Ghost’s’s price chart from May 27 to Jun. 11. (Source: CoinMarketCap)

Investors Pour Money Into Ghost Despite

Ghost’s rising market cap shows that retail investors have been pouring a lot of money into the project. Data from Dapp Radar shows that the new token was responsible for over $21 million in trading volume on decentralized cryptocurrency exchange IDEX since the beginning of June.

Graph showing the Ghost trading volume on IDEX from Jun. 1 to Jun. 11
Graph showing the Ghost trading volume on IDEX from Jun. 1 to Jun. 11. (Source: Dapp Radar)

While Ghost isn’t the first nor the last altcoin to see its price skyrocket after launch, the fact that its value increased by more than 100% in 10 days does come as a surprise. Namely, the project was accused of plagiarizing its whitepaper.

Developers of PIVX said that “at least 20 of the 26 total pages” of its whitepaper contained material directly plagiarized from an outdated PIVX whitepaper published in 2018. As said by PIVX advisor Bryan Doreian:

“You have the head of a project copying a whitepaper, saying we didn’t copy it, then saying we did copy it. And people are supposed to trust this? From another lens, once we called the project out, it was then they started hiring devs.”

Speaking to Akshay CM, a member of the Ghost core development team, “We aren’t forking PIVX, we have made that clear in the new whitepaper that ghost will be forked from Particl.” He did not comment on whether the decision to fork Particl instead of PIVX was related to the plagiarism accusation.

Officially, Ghost defended itself by saying that their base code is a “forked version of PIVX,” but PIVX claimed the company gave no copyright credits to them. McAfee even threatened to sue PIVX for defamation, but the protocol’s developers said that there was no one to sue because of the decentralized nature of the project.

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