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Trump launches war on crypto, loses war on crypto

Bitcoin is not money. I don’t like cryptocurrency. If I wanted to make a cryptocurrency it would be the best currency in the world, let me tell you. Believe me. I already did create the best currency in the world and it’s the US dollar. It’s the best currency and it always will be, forever. I should know, I created it.


Did the US president just say that bitcoin would reach $100k in the coming months? Not in so many words, but inadvertently, between the lines, he may just have done that. 


Just so we know what we’re dealing with here, we’ll give you the full tweet series:


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….


….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!


As you can imagine, Crypto Twitter was swift to reply, argue with, educate and troll the president, with Tron’s Justin Sun inviting him to his lunch with Warren Buffett, and Kraken’s Jesse Powell observing that the US dollar is privately operated, unpredictable and opaque. Some noted that there has been no financial innovation in the US for 50 years, and that Bitcoin and blockchain are the country’s best hope to stay ahead in fintech. Donald has started a debate, to be sure.


Good or bad?

On the face of it, this may seem bearish. The president could decide to try to make trouble for crypto, not to mention Facebook. Libra (or ZuckBucks, as the crypto community knows it), represents a direct threat to the US banks and control of the money supply, and Congress has been extremely concerned – going so far as to request that all development stops until Facebook can address major concerns around money laundering, terrorist financing and other crime.


But what about bitcoin and ‘pure’ crypto, rather than a glorified Tether issued by a centralised company?


Bitcoin itself is practically impossible to eradicate, due to its decentralised nature. You can’t stop Americans using it unless you shut down the internet. Trump could theoretically try to prevent them moving funds between the crypto and conventional financial worlds via action against exchanges, but it’s unlikely that would happen at all. Remember that the Silk Road auction of 2014 de facto legitimised bitcoin (the US would not have auctioned off something it deemed illegal, like drugs it had seized). And the BitLicense has established a regulatory framework for blockchain and crypto companies. Not to mention the recent strides forward in terms of products like Bakkt and the fast-developing regulatory landscape, plus the SEC’s approval of the first security token offerings. TL;DR that genie is out of the bottle and the legal barriers to rowing back on those developments are insurmountable.


Enemies of Trump might be friends of crypto

Then you have the fact that Trump is such a polarising character. People love him or hate him. Those who hate him have just been given a new reason to buy bitcoin. Trump has just advertised crypto to most of the world. Anyone who questions his judgement or fitness as president might be curious about what his problem is with this new technology.


There’s also the reality of his enemies in high places. Notably, Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, recently told the Senate Banking Committee that people use bitcoin as a ‘speculative store of value, like gold’, acknowledging its place in the world. At least two of the 2020 presidential hopefuls are accepting bitcoin donations. Nationally and internationally, commercial and central banks, state leaders and regulators are waking up to bitcoin and blockchain. The list is growing fast.


The saying is that no publicity is bad publicity. Donald may just have put bitcoin – as well as the surrounding debate about privacy and honest money – in the spotlight like never before.

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