Cryptocurrencies have been at a tussle with regulators and lawmakers globally for a long time, however, the fight took a notch higher when US President Donald Trump tweeted late night that he isn’t a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He blasted Bitcoin accusing it of being used for unlawful activities like drug trafficking, and then lashed out at Facebook, warning the company for its Libra Project.
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
Soon, the tweet spread like fire, and experts, analysts, and industry stakeholders started to tweet replies, and make Trump understand that he had a misconception about crypto. While some tried to persuade him, others took a dig at him for his insensitive approach. First, let’s see who said what, and then we’ll see why is Trump’s statement so important.
John McAfee – Computer Scientist & Crypto Promoter
John McAfee is among the biggest computer minds in the world and has been supporting Bitcoin and altcoins like Dogecoin, Monero, Docademic, etc. for a very long time. His views are seen as market indicators, and he was among the firsts to say that Bitcoin will pass $1 million mark by the end of 2020. Here’s what he had to say in his reply to Trump,
“Crypto facilitates unlawful activities like the drug trade??? I thought the current $200 billion drug trade was priced in U.S. dollars and paid for by same?? I’m going to feel so foolish on discovering the actual currency for purchasing drugs is bananas or Soy Milk.”
McAfee has been at a tussle with government agencies for years and has been a regular critic of the Trump administration and its policies on banking, digitalization, and privacy, among several other things. He also posted a video on Twitter, challenging Trump’s views on crypto.
My response to Donald Trump regarding his "Dislike of Cryptocurrency" tweet. pic.twitter.com/TkaPPqULQC
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) July 12, 2019
In the 2:11 minutes long video, McAfee explains that with the evolution of technology, criminals have been benefited, but that doesn’t mean that we stop the tech itself. He gave the example of telephone, internet, and automobiles, which all revolutionized crimes.
Justin Sun – Founder and CEO, TRON
Justin Sun is one of the most high profile names in the industry, and he is already trying to persuade another big shot critic of crypto, Warren Buffett. TRON is among the biggest crypto-blockchain networks in the world and has the largest dApp user base.
After seeing Trump’s tweet, he replied,
Mr. President, you are misled by fake news. #Bitcoin & #Blockchain happens to be the best chance for US! I'd love to invite you to have lunch with crypto leaders along with @WarrenBuffett on July 25. I guarantee you after this lunch, nobody will know crypto more than you! https://t.co/ZpRFEbninv
— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) July 12, 2019
After he won the $4.57m bid for the Power of One Lunch with Buffett to be held on this 25th, he was criticized by industry members for appeasing crypto critics like the stalwart investor. Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO had insulted Bitcoin by calling it ‘rat poison squared,’ and even comparing it with the button of his suit. Inviting Trump to the lunch in San Francisco, may not go down well with his industry counterparts.
Anthony Pompliano – Co-founder & Partner, Morgan Creek Digital
Pompliano, or Pomp, as he is popularly addressed to, is one of the most influential experts of the crypto industry. He has been in the crypto asset management business for quite a few years, and definitely knows a thing or two about Bitcoin and altcoins.
He replied to Trump stating that even though Trump argues that Bitcoin is based on thin air, Bitcoin argues that it is based on math. He further added in another tweet,
“Bitcoin is the most anti-fragile asset in the world.”
Pomp has been working for a very long time to clear myths and doubts about Bitcoin and crypto in general. In fact, he belongs to the section of industry members who are glad that Trump tweeted about Bitcoin, though negatively. This, they believe, shows that despite being against crypto, he notices the market.
Caitlin Long – Co-founder, Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, & Wall Street Stalwart
Caitlin has been in the financial management industry for over 22 years and has a great experience in both traditional and crypto, finance systems. She replied with a series of tweets and gave a broader perspective on the matter.
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
She argued that the government must accept law abiding crypto companies. Otherwise, it would hurt the United States instead of doing good. In one of the five tweets, she stated that since the Dollar hasn’t had competition, the monetary system hasn’t shown any innovation in the last 50 years. Caitlin believes that Bitcoin could give healthy competition to the USD, which could yield positive outcomes.
Former Symbiont chief stated that if the banks and administration try to kill crypto, other countries will surpass them, reminding him how banks have failed to curtail crypto. She also advised Trump to invite crypto-blockchain experts to the White House to discuss decentralized digital currencies, as his staff is ‘misleading’ him.
Why The Panic?
All of this shows that the entire crypto industry is gone alive on Trump’s comment, although most crypto projects claim crypto to be out of the reach of the government. Why is it so? Why are the top guns reacting so quickly?
It’s quite simple. Donald Trump, love him or hate him, is the single most powerful individual in the world at the moment, and his actions have the potential to make or break any industry. His comments could both encourage and discourage people from investing in cryptocurrencies. There are talks doing rounds already that Trump’s comments are hurting Bitcoin, though Bitcoin has been reeling between $11,000 and $12,000 for the past two weeks.
But this couldn’t be said for the future. Trump’s comments will encourage the resentment among regulators globally, which came to light, especially after Facebook unveiled Libra on June 18. The US Congress demanding a blanket ban on crypto is similar to what’s being demanded by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the UK, the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and the Ministry of Financial Affairs (MFA) of India. China already has a large scale ban on cryptos, like many countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Crypto industry players, no matter how much pretend to care less, very well know that opposition from the American President will kill all hopes of the bull run, which is expected any time soon. Also, they aware that a ban in the world’s biggest economy would severely damage market health, and it would also encourage America’s allies to take similar steps.