U.S. President Donald Trump made his first public comment on Bitcoin last night, saying that he is “not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies” just hours after Federal Reserve head Jerome Powell compared Bitcoin to “digital gold”. The reaction to the president directly mentioning Bitcoin was unsurprisingly the main topic of conversation in crypto communities, with the reaction being overwhelmingly positive, despite, or perhaps because of, Trump’s opposition to it.
Powell Calls Bitcoin ‘Digital Gold’
Trumps’s tweets were prompted by Powell’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency plans, where he said that Bitcoin was seen primarily as a store of value rather than being used as a means of daily transaction. His comments were seen as another step in Bitcoin’s validation as a viable asset, and responses were quick to come, with the gold lobby particularly upset by the comparison.
How far we’ve come. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve just compared bitcoin to gold
Folks, it’s happeninghttps://t.co/onVmTj4hUk
— Barry Silbert (@barrysilbert) July 11, 2019
Powell is correct that Bitcoin is not used for payments, but wrong to claim that it’s a store of value like gold. Not only does this provide more proof that Powell doesn’t understand Bitcoin, but that he doesn’t understand gold. Ignorance of money is part of his job criteria!
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) July 11, 2019
Even Jerome Powell, the Fed Chairman, understands that Bitcoin will disrupt gold! https://t.co/UZZNpCOC6x
— Tyler Winklevoss (@tylerwinklevoss) July 11, 2019
Trump Praises the Dollar
Trump responded to the comments a few short hours later, stating over three tweets that he didn’t share Powell’s positive views on the digital currency:
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…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!
Trump’s statements echo those of people who only have a surface knowledge of cryptocurrencies, if that, while his timing of associating Bitcoin with the drug trade can’t have come at a worse time, just days after a seized ship owned by the bank JP Morgan was found to contain 20 tons of cocaine. Trump also seems to have forgotten that the “dependable” U.S. dollar has not been backed by anything since the country came off the gold standard in 1973. If Powell’s comments excited the crypto community, Trump’s tweets sent them into meltdown:
— Crypto₿ull (@CryptoBull) July 12, 2019
Like seriously, this type of take from a dumb fuck like him, is omega bullish for Bitcoin.
You don’t the approval of the orange guy.
— Pierre (@pierre_crypt0) July 12, 2019
The POTUS just recognized Bitcoin, what a time to be alive. $BTC
— Crypto Hedge (@TheCryptoHedge) July 12, 2019
I am not a fan of fiat and other state printed currencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly inflationary and based on thin air. Unbacked Fiat Assets facilitate almost all current unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….
— The Crypto Dog? (@TheCryptoDog) July 12, 2019
Trump’s Motives Questionable
BTC barely moved on the news, hovering around the $11,300 area. The timing of Trump’s first comments on digital assets are not coincidental – he has publicly criticized Powell over his running of the Fed, and so seemingly couldn’t pass up the chance to have a dig at him via the medium of cryptocurrencies. Unless of course he has spent some time looking into the merits of cryptocurrencies and has decided that this was the right venue to start a debate on them. No, thought not.