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Trump’s Crypto-Bashing Staff Is Duping Him on Bitcoin

Bitcoin advocate Caitlin Long unleashed an impassioned tweet storm in reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump‘s anti-crypto remarks. Long says Trump is being misled by his staff and argued that crypto could function within the law — despite what he fears.

In an unexpected series of tweets, Trump declared that he is not a fan of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Trump explained that crypto is “not money,” and took issue with bitcoin‘s extreme volatility. Moreover, he said its value is “based on thin air.”

Trump also expressed concern that virtual currencies could be used to facilitate crimes, such as drug trafficking.

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

…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!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019

Caitlin Long, a former Wall Street executive-turned-blockchain-advocate, reacted by urging Trump to reconsider his anti-crypto positions.

Long, the co-founder of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, tweeted that Wyoming “welcomes law-abiding crypto companies and created a new type of bank charter to allow them to comply with the law.”

Long insists that Trump is wrong in opposing bitcoin, saying his anti-crypto positions are the result of bad advice.

“The crypto genie can’t be put back in the bottle and if the US fights this, we will simply be bypassed by other countries that are welcoming it. You are just wrong on this…Your staff isn’t giving you good advice.”

1/ Mr President—#Wyoming, the state that gave you the highest margin of victory in 2016 (even bigger than Reagan), welcomes law-abiding #crypto companies & created a new type of bank charter to allow them to comply w/ the law. You are just wrong on this—ur staff is misleading you

— Caitlin Long 🔑 (@CaitlinLong_) July 12, 2019

3/ …opening it up to healthy competition. The #crypto genie can’t be put back in the bottle & if the US fights this we will simply be bypassed by other countries that are welcoming it. Banks tried to shut down #crypto by shunning the industry & look what happened—it didn’t die.

— Caitlin Long 🔑 (@CaitlinLong_) July 12, 2019

5/ To close, pls invite #crypto experts to advise you—you need to hear the other side. And you need to understand how #Wyoming has created a regulatory-compliant framework to let this innovation thrive in a lawful manner & ensure the US keeps our lead in financial services! 🤠🇺🇸

— Caitlin Long 🔑 (@CaitlinLong_) July 12, 2019

President Trump‘s anti-bitcoin stance is surprising since he has appointed many top-level officials who are pro-crypto. For instance, Mick Mulvaney — the acting White House chief of staff — is a longtime crypto fan.

Similarly, SEC commissioner Hester Peirce is a vocal bitcoin proponent. As CCN reported, Peirce rebuked the SEC last month, saying it should have approved a bitcoin ETF last year. The industry affectionately nicknamed Peirce “Crypto Mom” because of her embrace of digital currencies.

Despite Trump‘s anti-crypto statements, many are encouraged that the U.S. president even acknowledged bitcoin in the first place. They say this is an essential step toward mainstreaming crypto, and noted that there is ample opportunity to change Trump‘s mind.

Trump slams bitcoin in a tweet saying he is “not a fan”. and Mark Cuban tells CNBC that Libra is a “big mistake” by Facebook

We chat here at #Post9@CNBC @jimcramer @carlquintanilla pic.twitter.com/fcfDDViT1s

— Squawk on the Street (@SquawkStreet) July 12, 2019

Ironically, by opposing bitcoin, Trump joins a growing chorus of Trump-hating Democratic lawmakers who want to eradicate crypto.

In May 2019, Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman urged his colleagues to pass a law that would ban cryptocurrencies in the United States.

“I look for colleagues to join with me in introducing a bill to outlaw cryptocurrency purchases by Americans, so that we nip this in the bud.”

Like others who oppose bitcoin, Sherman says cryptocurrencies are a direct threat to the U.S. dollar and the rule of law.

“Whether it is to disempower our foreign policy, our tax collection enforcement or traditional law enforcement, the advantage of crypto over sovereign currency is solely to aid in the disempowerment of the United States and the rule of law.”

“The worldwide use of the U.S. dollar strengthens the U.S. economy and allows us to sanction rogue nations. Those desperate to weaken the U.S. pray for a crypto-alternative to the U.S. dollar.”

Bitcoin-Bashing Democrat Calls for Blanket Ban on Cryptocurrencies https://t.co/lM8DQCjKTT

— CCN Markets (@CCNMarkets) May 10, 2019

Similarly, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters — the chair of the House Financial Services Committee — demanded that Facebook suspend work on its Libra coin.

Specifically, Waters says she’s worried about the lack of regulatory oversight and the risks that cryptocurrencies pose to “endanger U.S. and global financial stability.”

U.S. Can’t Ban Bitcoin Because It’s Free Speech: Abra CEO https://t.co/BN8JpS008J

— CCN Markets (@CCNMarkets) July 3, 2019

However, crypto evangelists like Abra CEO Bill Barhydt say the U.S. government cannot ban crypto because it raises a First Amendment issue.

“We don’t hear enough of a narrative around Bitcoin as free speech. And free speech needs to be a protected human right across the board. You can’t prevent people from holding ones and zeros on a device in their pocket. That ship has sailed.”

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