Donald Trump Is ‘Not a Fan of Bitcoin’… or Facebook’s Libra
We might wonder “what took him so long?” but a few hours ago President Donald Trump set his Twitter sights on bitcoin. Echoing criticisms by fellow government representatives over the years, Trump described himself as “not a fan” of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies due to their volatile values and facilitation of illegal activity.
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Trump: Bitcoin Is ‘Not Money’ and too Volatile
Here’s the Presidential tweet in all its glory:
I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019
The tweet was the first in a series of three, which went on to drop some hints as to why Trump chose today to add his voice to the governmental “bitcoin is not real money” choir.
“Similarly, Facebook Libra’s ‘virtual currency’ will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International. We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!”
Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency is one that could pose an actual threat to the international financial order. The social media behemoth’s user base and influence over their lives — as well as its corporate partners — could force mass adoption of the kind Bitcoiners only dream.
Several high-level officials have spoken out against Libra over the past week, including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Powell’s comments (which didn’t even mention Bitcoin) may have caused BTC and other crypto prices to drop over 12 percent.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who heads the House Financial Services Committee, said that by introducing its own currency Facebook was “continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users”. She recently called on Facebook to halt its plans to launch Libra, prompting a personal written defense from project head David Marcus.
The President may well be talking more about Libra than bitcoin, and his tweet more strategic than personal feelings of the moment.
Fiat Value, Technically, Is Also Based on Thin Air
It’s hardly surprising that the U.S. head of state would rush to defend USD supremacy, given it’s still the world’s reserve currency and that status is vital in maintaining U.S. hegemony.
Celebrity economist and goldbug Peter Schiff agreed with Trump on some points:
I'm not a fan of Bitcoin either, but not because it's unregulated. That is actually one aspect that I like. But you hit the nail on the head with your observation that it has no real value. It's a confidence game, and those who put their faith in it have been conned.
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) July 12, 2019
Several responses to the tweets pointed out that bitcoin derives its value from thin air no more than the USD and other fiat currencies do:
Mr. President, one could say the same of unregulated fiat currencies, like the privately operated US dollar. The advantage of cryptocurrencies is that they are predictable and transparent. Regulated or not, useful tools can be used for good and evil. Don't let the US fall behind.
— Jesse Powell (@jespow) July 12, 2019
Bitcoin SV Crowd: Hey, We Agree (Mostly)
Members of the Bitcoin SV (BSV) community noted the President shared many of their own Bitcoin criticisms. Dr. Craig Wright, who many people (and especially those in BSV) recognize as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, has railed against cryptocurrencies’ use in illegal activities and corruption.
"perfectly enforceable regulation." — only in BitCoinSV. BTC and Lightning networks keeps no records. No way to prove you didn't launder money. Coin mixers and coin anonymizers such as Blockstream's confidential transactions helps facilitate crime.
— David Jerry (@digitsu) July 12, 2019
BSV supporters call for a more accountable network that plays friendly with regulators. It’s a stance that hasn’t won them many friends in other sectors of the cryptocurrency community, but one they say is only being realistic if bitcoin wants to gain mainstream legitimacy.
They frequently point out that since blockchain transaction records are immutable and public, that such cryptocurrencies are indeed more transparent than fiat currencies. They decry most attempts by other projects to anonymize or mask transactions, saying this is the aspect of bitcoin that would facilitate most bad behavior.
Who do you agree with? Tell us what you think in the comments or on social media.
Images via Google