In a surprising circumstance and perhaps for the first time in his dramatic presidency, President Donald Trump of the United States has taken a swipe at Bitcoin.
Finally, the world’s most influential cryptocurrency has gotten the attention of the world’s most ‘powerful’ leader.
However, for all it is worth, President Trump’s salvo at Bitcoin and by extension all cryptocurrencies including Facebook’s ‘unborn’ digital currency, Libra is part of a bigger scheme to protect the United States Dollar (USD), a currency that has not only been challenged by Bitcoin but even China’s Renminbi and even the Euro at some levels.
Starting out that he is not a fan of cryptocurrencies in general, President Trump then went for the ‘Elephant in the room’- Bitcoin, alleging that the ‘reverred’ and the world’s first digital currency.
For the avoidance of doubts, here are his two tweets reproduced below:
“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….”
“…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!”
You have heard the saying, ‘haters gonna hate’. However, President Trump isn’t just a hater to be ignored. He is the President of the United States and his words (action and perhaps not his tweets) carry weights and concerning consequences for the global economy and by extension the cryptocurrency community.
However, President Trump is not saying anything new and if you are conversant with the simplistic arguments put forward by all the major critics of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general would know that he is not telling us what we have not heard before.
The major meat in Trump’s diatribe against Bitcoin is the impending degradation in the position of the USD as the preferred reserve currency of the world. It is also significant because the influence of the dollar has been on the decline for more a decade and blaming Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general might just be a ‘strawman’ argument.
For instance, China’s Renminbi has not gotten international adoption but it has been adopted and used for specific transactions that cuts out the dollar in the scheme of things. An example is a currency swap agreement between China and many countries under its belt and road initiative. Several countries including Nigeria are exchanging their currency for Renminbi to facilitate ‘zero dollar’ import and export transactions. This is an evidence that Trump is only looking for a fall guy in Bitcoin but this time around, he is only making Bitcoin more popular, influential and a bigger threat to the USD which was exactly the ultimate goal Bitcoin was developed to achieve, take back control of money from government and banks to the people.
Whoever is close to Trump in White House should educate him better that Bitcoin isn’t his enemy but an ally of sort. It’s not just an ally in the selfish and condescending way Trump would want it. It’s not China, Iran or even Russia, it is the people, anyone in the world who wants to control and own their own money and wants to use it however and whenever they like it without been robbed or stolen by people who have no input on how you earned it.