In 2021, the market capitalization of cryptocurrencies increased by 286 percent year on year, catapulting a $2.17 trillion industry into the stratosphere of global economic growth.
However, along with the tremendous accumulation of wealth has come an eruption of bizarre stories from across the sector.
Twenty-first century cryptocurrency cyberspace witnessed a whirlwind of events, from the strange deaths of many crypto-evangelists to crypto frauds involving hacked Twitter accounts of heads of state to much-publicized celebrity NFT drops that were a complete flop at the auction.
Before we go any further, here are the top 5 oddest tales that have captured the attention of blockchain fans this year.
No 1. The death of John McAfee
On June 23, John McAfee, a crypto-evangelist and the namesake creator of the antivirus software company McAfee, was found dead in a Spanish jail cell, apparently by hanging, according to authorities.
It had been sought McAfee’s extradition by the United States, which is one of the few countries that has a taxation-by-citizenship regime — that is, Americans are taxed on their worldwide income each year regardless of their country of residence — for failing to file his income tax returns from 2014 to 2018 and allegedly failing to report income from his cryptocurrency projects.
McAfee was apprehended in Spain on suspicion of tax evasion in the United States.
McAfee was allegedly charging up to $105,000 per Tweet to promote initial coin offers (ICOs) on social media as recently as 2018.
McAfee had previously declared in a tweet two years prior: “If I intended to commit suicide, I did not.
“I got whacked,” the businessman claimed, sparking speculation that his death may have been the product of a premeditated attack.
For his pioneering initiatives in programming, early adoption of Bitcoin (BTC), and eccentric personality, McAfee has left a lasting impression on history.
He is infamous for saying that if the price of bitcoin did not reach $500,000 by 2020, he would “eat [his own] dick on national television.”
It was announced in November that private investors had agreed to purchase McAfee’s original software development company for $14 billion.
McAfee is survived by his wife, Janice McAfee, as well as his three children (of which McAfee claimed to have at least 47).
Today would have been John’s 76th birthday. As we continue to wait for news from the courts I wanted to share some of my favourite memories of John. To honor John please share any photos you may have taken of or with him using #JohnMcAfeeDidNotKillHimself & #JusticeForJohnMcAfee. pic.twitter.com/5iEQCTi7zx — Janice McAfee (@theemrsmcafee) September 18, 2021
No 2. India‘s prime minister appears to tweet out a BTC scam
It was reported in December that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account had been hacked yet again, with scammers claiming that the country had adopted bitcoin as its national currency and that 500 bitcoins were available for immediate distribution to Indian nationals who signed up through a phishing link.
The tweet was visible to the whole public and Modi’s 73.4 million followers for a limited period of time until it was taken down.
An anonymous hacking organization known as “John Wick” gained access to the prime minister’s Twitter account the year before and posted messages urging his followers to make cryptocurrency donations to him.
There are a variety of ideas as to why Modi became the focus of these Bitcoin fraud hacking attempts.
One likely explanation is retaliation for the ongoing Bitcoin scandal in the Indian state of Karnataka.
The Karnataka police and government officials, according to Indian media outlets, are accused of accepting bribes in the amount of 12,900 Bitcoin from hacker Srikrishna Ramesh, who was previously arrested for hacking three cryptocurrency exchanges and other websites in the previous years.
When Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai inquired about the issue during a meeting with Prime Minister Modi in November, the prime minister is said to have shrugged it off as unimportant.
When it comes to the condition of cryptocurrency in India, the regulatory environment is now a tangle of red tape and confusion.
Narendra Modi’s deleted Bitcoin Tweet | Source: India Today / Twitter
No 3. ConstitutionDAO‘s “Uno Reverse”
When a group of retail investors came together in November to form a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, they had the goal of pooling their funds in order to purchase the last privately-owned first-edition print copy of the United States Constitution at a public auction hosted by Sotheby’s.
Constitution DAO received donations in the form of Ether (ETH) from 17,437 participants, resulting in a total of $49 million.
During the actual auction, however, the piece of the constitution was outbid by Ken Griffin, CEO of Citadel, whose firm owned hedge funds that had shorted Gamestop shares, much to the chagrin of many retail investors who had been actively supporting the stock at the time.
The ConstitutionDAO was forced to close its doors shortly after, and its stakeholders were given refunds.
It is apparent that the “bourgeois” will not allow the “proletariat” investors to be freed from their chains, despite the fact that they have nothing to lose but their chains.
we just sent out the final batch of refunds for those who contributed directly to juicebox after the auction. if you contributed post-auction and before our previously messaged cutoff date of 12/6, you should have received your refund by now.https://t.co/g7u2ENSoYE
— ConstitutionDAO (, ) (@ConstitutionDAO) December 11, 2021
No 4. Elon, Tesla and Bitcoin
Since the beginning of the year, cryptocurrency prices have been on a crazy roller coaster ride, which may be attributed in part to Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla.
Aside from that, Musk’s indecisiveness when it came to Tesla’s Bitcoin adoption generated and wiped out countless fortunes.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent investors into a buying frenzy in March when he announced that the company will accept Bitcoin as payment for consumers purchasing its electric vehicles.
Musk withdrew the plans two months later, citing environmental issues with network mining as the reason for the reversal in market momentum. The result was a full-blown market meltdown.
Then, in October, Tesla stated that it would re-evaluate the possibility of using Bitcoin as a payment mechanism.
In the midst of it all, though, Musk gained in popularity as a navigator, guiding regular investors and cryptocurrency fanatics alike through the turbulence of the financial markets.
In recent year, he has been named Person of the Year by the Times Magazine.
Tesla & Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/YSswJmVZhP
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2021
No 5. The unsold NFTs of Tupac Shakur
Over the course of 29 years, former hip-hop writer Lawrence “Loupy D” Dotson kept a collection of images of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur in his possession.
Photos shot at the rapper’s “2Pacalypse Now” debut album release party in 1992 were made available for public sale in the form of nonfungible tokens (also known as NFTs) in November of this year, with proceeds going to charity.
In an interview, Loupy D indicated that he had examined “photo shows, museums, and a variety of other options.”
When it comes to NFTs, it is not just about the asset itself, but also about the story that surrounds the asset.
I realized I needed to get my tale in front of as many people as possible.”
The OpenSea auction received significant press interest in the weeks leading up to it, including coverage from RollingStone and Fortune.com.
The auction lasted for a week after that.
The 18 Tupac photo NFTs, on the other hand, did not sell a single one of their pieces.
As a result of his dissatisfaction, Loupy D removed them off the site and made them available for private enquiries.
The photographer may have been asking for too much, to be fair; each NFT piece had a minimum bid of 25 Ethereum ($100,000), thus the photographer may have been asking for too much.
Another artist asked for 200 ETH ($1 million at the time) for a photograph of Tupac Shakur taken 14 days before his death in a drive-by shooting earlier this year.
Despite the fact that the price has dropped to 10 ETH, that NFT has not sold.
Is it just that we’re asking too much, or has Tupac’s appeal waned?
You are the final arbiter.
Well, the #tupac #nfts didn’t sell at auction on #opensea, but as they say, #tmc
Click link in bio for more information. https://t.co/QvPaMbDawQ pic.twitter.com/p8mc2MRSlc
— Loupy D (@loupyd) November 30, 2021