Trump Tweets Crypto Rant — What Is the Bitcoin Reference Really About?
President Donald Trump’s mention of cryptocurrencies is historic, but the blockchain industry deserves a more serious conversation...
Over the last few years, United States President Donald Trump’s tweetstorms have become a peculiar yet amusing feature of American public life. The president’s off-the-cuff comments have served a wide variety of purposes, from enriching political discourse with the mysterious term covfefe to delivering direct threats — furnished with proper capitalization — to the leadership of the nations deemed U.S. adversaries. The most newsworthy rants almost invariably felt improvised, emotional and reactive. However, the historic series of tweets that constituted the first-ever public comment on cryptocurrencies by a sitting U.S. president didn’t seem to fit the same mold.
If anything, the three-prong statement comes across as consistent, strategically timed and unusually well-articulated. It opens with a general critique of cryptocurrencies, then proceeds to extend the punch to Libra, Facebook’s much-discussed prospective digital currency, and concludes with a feel-good declaration lauding the U.S. dollar as the “most dominant currency anywhere in the World.”
The statement, seemingly uncalled for, came days before Libra’s chief, David Marcus, was slated to face Congress in two back-to-back hearings. Earlier on the day, when cryptocurrencies incurred President Trump’s wrath, Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve’s chair, admitted before the Senate Banking Committee that a globally entrenched cryptocurrency could potentially render existing reserve currencies obsolete.
Finally, four days after Trump’s tweets, Treasury Secretary Steven Muchin echoed the president’s concerns almost verbatim during a press conference during which he contended that cryptocurrencies posed a “national security threat.” At that point, it became difficult not to see the messages coming out of the administration as a coordinated viewpoint.