CNBC Host Joe ‘Squawk’ Becomes an Unlikely Hero for Bitcoin

CNBC’s Joe Kernen claims he is being treated “like a god” on Twitter following a June 19 interview on Squawk Box where he questioned whether Facebook’s libra is a cryptocurrency.

In the clip, posted by a bitcoin (BTC) advocate, Kernen said libra “doesn’t excite me at all” and argued that blockchain networks used by major coins add inherent value. Describing the libra, he added:

“This is just based on the dollar. I don’t understand it — is it called a cryptocurrency? Well it’s not.”

Crypto enthusiasts praised Kernen for his remarks — and said it marked a turning point as traditional financial journalists are beginning to understand why established cryptocurrencies are valuable.

In the following day’s broadcast on June 20, Kernen said:

“I’m a bitcoin bull now. Have you seen what’s happening on Twitter? I’m like a god. Millennials are like holding me up… I love them, they’re so smart. If you put in a dollar, and your stupid digital currency is worth a dollar, that’s not a cryptocurrency — all the blockchain transactions actually do create some inherent value. Making a digital currency that’s based on a fiat currency makes no sense.”

Facebook released the white paper for its global stablecoin on June 18. MastercardPayPal and Visa are among the founding members of the not-for-profit consortium that will govern it.

Even though libra is being touted as a way of reaching the unbanked, reports have suggested that Facebook’s Calibra digital wallet will not be available in nations that ban cryptocurrencies. This is likely to hinder adoption in India, one of the social network’s largest markets and a country that’s home to the second-largest unbanked population.

Reaction to the long-awaited project has been mixed. While some think libra will boost the industry, others have criticized the white paper’s ambiguity.