- The new book by former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton reveals that Trump ordered to “go against Bitcoin” in 2018.
- The Trump administration began taking stronger action against cryptocurrencies in 2019.
John Bolton, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, is under the spotlight for his upcoming publication, “The Room Where It Happened”. There Bolton has set out to reveal some of the most uncomfortable secrets of President Donald Trump’s administration. One of these confirms his stance against Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin public enemy
According to an article by Forbes, in his book Bolton cites a conversation that occurred in May 2018 between Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. At the time, Bitcoin was going through one of its worst crashes after the “bubble” that had driven its price to an all-time high of $20,000 exploded in late 2017. By the time the supposed conversation Bolton quotes occurred, Bitcoin had lost about 50% of its price and stood at about $9,000, then Trump told Mnuchin, “Go after Bitcoin”.
The conversation apparently occurred while Mnuchin and Trump were talking about new trade sanctions against China. Despite the above, the Trump administration did not take any decisive steps against cryptocurrencies that year. However, a year later President Trump probably made one of the harshest statements against Bitcoin by a head of state. Trump said he’s not a “Bitcoin fan” and added that cryptocurrencies are not money. The President of the United States continued to say:
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 (…).
He further outlines that assets like Bitcoin and Facebook’s Libra would have little, if any, user confidence. The Libra project was heavily attacked by governments such as Trump’s and due to the strong opposition it received it could be delayed for years. Later, the Secretary of the Treasury said:
We’re looking at all of the crypto assets. We’re going to make sure we have a unified approach and my guess is that there are going to be more regulations that come out from all these agencies.
Secretary Mnuchin’s statements have gradually materialized. In March of this year, Mnuchin met with key leaders in the blockchain industry. His intention was to discuss the supervision and regulation of all digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, among others. In addition, at the meeting, Mnuchin reiterated the Trump administration’s position against cryptocurrencies:
The United States will continue to be at the forefront of regulating entities that provide cryptocurrency, and will not tolerate the use of cryptocurrencies in support of illicit activities.