Trump blasts Bitcoin and says cryptocurrencies, including Facebook’s Libra, should be ‘subject to all banking regulations’

  • President Donald Trump railed against cryptocurrencies and specifically called out Bitcoin and Libra, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency that is backed by companies like Uber and Mastercard.
  • Trump tweeted he was “not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies.”
  • Trump joins politicians from both sides of the aisle in expressing skepticism about Facebook’s ambitions with Libra.
  • Trump’s comments came on the same day as a social-media summit at the White House, in which he accused Facebook and Twitter of censoring him and conservative commentators.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump railed against cryptocurrencies and specifically called out Bitcoin and Libra, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency that is backed by companies including Uber and Mastercard.

“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,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”

“Similarly, Facebook Libra’s ‘virtual currency’ will have little standing or dependability,” Trump added. “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 and International.”

Trump suggested that fiat, specifically the US dollar, is the most dependable currency in the world. Bitcoin’s price, which critics allege is too volatile, increased around 70% since this time last year and is priced at roughly $11,450 USD at the time of this publication.

“We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable,” Trump tweeted. “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!”

Facebook declined to comment to Business Insider.

Read more: Here’s what Facebook’s new cryptocurrency Libra will look like and how it will work

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Trump joins politicians from both sides of the aisle in expressing skepticism about Facebook’s ambitions with Libra. Next week, David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency initiative, will testify in front of a Senate committee on the company’s plans for Libra and the data privacy concerns involved.

Of additional note is that Trump’s comments came on the same day as a social-media summit at the White House, in which he accused Facebook and Twitter of censoring him and conservative commentators.

Although US regulators have differing views on whether cryptocurrencies ought to be considered a commodity, security, or a currency, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he was primarily concerned whether they were being used for “illicit activities.”

“My number one focus on cryptocurrencies, whether that be digital currencies or bitcoin or other things, is that we want to make sure that they’re not used for illicit activities,” Mnuchin said to CNBC. “So in the US, our regulations [state that] if you’re a bitcoin wallet, you’re subject to the same regulations as a bank.”

Blockchain Association, a blockchain lobbying firm, replied to Trump and urged him to support the technology that “has the potential to fuel US [economic] growth and … devolves power away from tech monopolies into the hands of the people.”

“If you care about US leadership, you should support policies that support the growth of this industry,” the Blockchain Association said in a tweet.

Matt Weinberger contributed reporting.

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