On Thursday, July 11th, 2019, a miracle happened.
Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, managed to unite (however briefly) the various factions in Cryptocurrency… against him. In a series of tweets, President Trump declared his views on Bitcoin:
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
....Similarly, Facebook Libra’s “virtual currency” will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National...— 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
So, as you can imagine, that went over like a ton of bricks on Bitcoin / Crypto Twitter, some even questioning if these tweets had been written by Donald Trump, or whethera member of his staff was behind them. Several prominent members of the crypto community responded with brilliant retorts.
Unlike children, Mr. President, you can’t put Bitcoin in a cage. @realdonaldtrump— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) July 12, 2019
Achievement unlocked! I dreamt about a sitting U.S. president needing to respond to growing cryptocurrency usage years ago. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”. We just made it to step 3 y'all. https://t.co/N3tzUKELaK— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) July 12, 2019
Dear @realDonaldTrump,— Pomp ???? (@APompliano) July 12, 2019
You can’t change Bitcoin’s monetary policy, supply schedule, interest rate, or transaction history.
There is no CEO or employees. No one will answer customer service complaints.
But you can always count on Bitcoin.
It never goes down.
But it was the response from Caitlin Long, a Wall Street veteran and a supporter of Cryptocurrency from Wyoming who is a member of the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force, that had the best response, one that may even help to change President Trump's mind:
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
2/ Your staff isn’t giving you good advice (I don’t see anyone on your staff who has experience in this new asset class). The US payment system hasn’t really innovated in 50 yrs—it’s unstable & inefficient. I’ve been surprised that your administration has coddled it instead of...— 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
4/ Why? Because this is the first serious payment innovation in decades. Yes, #crypto is used for illegal activities, but much less frequently than the dollar is—& crypto is easier to track (check w/ the FBI!). Mr President, you don’t need to choose between #crypto & the dollar!— 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
Now, let's go back over what the President said:
"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…."
Bitcoin is, in fact, money. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines money* as: "something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment", which fits the character of Bitcoin just right. President Trump says that Bitcoin is based on thin air. Code is not thin air, Mr. President, code is the internet,code is the automation that is changing the world, code is how Visa, Mastercard, and American Express can provide credit cards and their transactions. Code is how Wall Street can function and move trillions of dollars around the world.
So now we have to look at what gives the United States Dollar its value. We have not been on the gold standard* for almost fifty years, so what is backing the dollar? It's the word of the government of the United States, and if I'm not mistaken, words are not only thin, but hot air as well.
Next, we have to talk about the "unlawful behavior" part of this tweet. Sure, people have used Bitcoin for nefarious reasons, but not nearly as much as the United States Dollar (USD) has. So if the measure of a currency's validity is its use for criminal activity, the United States may need a new form of currency.
"…Similarly, Facebook Libra's "virtual currency" will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National…"
We need to understand that most politicians are not going to come out and support Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency. They will use the threat Bitcoin poses to US monetary dominance and how the USD will be affected by Bitcoin, or that Bitcoin will allow countries to ignore US Sanctions (which is all true btw), but that was the point from the beginning. And we can never forget that the banking industry has powerful lobbyists and lawyers to fill politicians' heads with all sort of nonsense related to cryptocurrencies.
"…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!"
This last tweet is purely political fist pumping and quite frankly was not unexpected from any sitting President. Why would they say anything other than that the United States Dollar is the best currency, especially if their platform is basically "America! F— Yeah!"?
In the end, the crypto community is going to have to understand that it is us vs. them. Even cryptocurrencies like XRP and BSV who claim they are bank- or government-friendly have to realize that, if they pose a threat to USD dominance, they will be attacked by the fiat banking system and their cronies in government. The only reason why we are having more and more politicians talking crypto is that Facebook's Libra scared them. Or rather, itt scared the people funding them, so why should we be surprised that Trump went on a Twitter rant about Bitcoin?
During his interview at Bitcoin 2019 in San Francisco, Edward Snowden said that Bitcoin needs a lobbyist. People to fight for Bitcoin and crypto ingovernment. While many would argue against that, it's true. If Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general want to be used as global currencies, they will need support in governments around the world. If nothing else, then to keep anti-crypto laws or harmful regulation from being passed.
Unpopular Opinion, I know. But that's the world we live in.
"Definition of MONEY." 2019. Merriam-Webster.Com. 2019. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/money.
Wikipedia Contributors. 2019. "Gold Standard." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. July 9, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_standard.