The American billionaire leader has slammed the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, stressing that digital assets only facilitate illegal activity and are made out of ‘thin air’ – unlike, of course, the ‘reliable’ US dollar.
Turning to Twitter after hosting a social media summit at the White House, Donald Trump slammed the use of alternative payment systems, including the popular Bitcoin and Facebook’s newly announced Libra, which the president believes has “little standing or dependability.”
“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,” he said.
The American public and global community, the president argued, should use the “reliable” US dollar instead, as he called for more federal regulations of peer-to-peer financial transactions.
Trump’s passionate attempt to reinforce the image of the US dollar as the only worthwhile reserve currency is understandable amid the global drive for alternatives, independent of Washington’s mood. The release of Bitcoin a decade ago has also changed the global landscape, unleashing a boom in peer-to-peer financial exchanges, with numerous cash tokens springing up and promising freedom with no central authority and little to no government regulation.
Considering the appeal of such transactions, most governments seek to regulate cryptocurrencies to avoid uncontrolled capital flow, but Washington has become especially wary of Facebook’s intentions to launch its own currency – the Libra – sometime next year to facilitate financial payments across its multi-billion user platform.
Taking into account Facebook’s history of shady privacy policies, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has warned US lawmakers this week about the potential damage Libra could cause.
“Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, and financial stability,” Powell warned in congressional testimony, stressing that Libra must not be released until these grievances are addressed.
However, other countries, in particular China, are more concerned that Washington would have too much control of the cryptocurrency peddled by US-based tech giants which would further undermine cross-border payments, monetary policies and the financial sovereignty of foreign states.