Trump Dumps on Cryptocurrency
“We have only one currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable,” he wrote. “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!”
The president’s rant comes in the wake of Facebook’s announcement of plans for a worldwide cryptocurrency to facilitate transactions on its online platforms.
Around the world, governments are struggling to come to grips with the rise of cryptocurrency. Because virtual funds are not considered currency, existing regulations regarding banking, gambling, interest rates, and financial transactions do not apply. That has left cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether essentially unregulated.
The lack of regulation is especially apparent at exchanges, websites where crypto funds are traded much like stocks. Speculators invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in hopes prices will go up and they can acquire sudden wealth as some notorious early investors did. Crypto enthusiasts support ongoing speculation, while conservative finance experts warn that investors are more likely to lose than gain money in the volatile crypto market.
Trump’s tweet echoes a common belief that cryptocurrencies are of special interest to criminals who seek an untraceable way of laundering money and financing crimes.
Government skepticism about cryptocurrency is further reflected in the Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act. The proposed legislation, which has not yet been introduced, is a specific response to Facebook’s announcement of plans to create its own virtual currency.
The text of the proposed bill says, “A large platform utility may not be, and may not be affiliated with any person that is, a financial institution.” The term “large platform utility” is defined as “a technology company with an annual global revenue of $25 billion or more...predominantly engaged in the business of offering to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties.”
While the president’s feelings about cryptocurrency are unambiguous, they are unlikely to sway House Democrats in their efforts to regulate large companies and their use of virtual money.
The long-term regulatory fate of cryptocurrencies has yet to be determined.
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