Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that he is “not a fan” of cryptocurrencies, marking this as his first public comment on cryptocurrencies since becoming president of the United States.
He criticised Facebook’s proposed Libra, demanding that companies seek a banking charter and make themselves subject to US and global regulations if they wanted to “become a bank”.
“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 wrote on Twitter.
He continued to criticize Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project in subsequent tweets, stating that it “will have little standing or dependability” and hinting that U.S. regulators would subject the social media platform to regulation:
“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 further highlighted the potential of cryptocurrencies being used in illicit activities and facilitating illicit activities, in particular drug trade. He concluded by strongly stating that there’s only one real currency in the USA, which is the U.S. dollar.
“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!”
U.S. regulators and lawmakers have taken notice of the Libra project, with both the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee having scheduled hearings next week with Facebook’s blockchain lead David Marcus.
Previously, the Senate committee has expressed concerns about Facebook’s track record with user data and privacy, writing an open letter to the company in May. In response to that, Marcus stated that Facebook would not itself collect any personal financial credentials.
Trump’s comments follow after the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, stated on Wednesday that Facebook’s Libra project cannot move forward until it addresses concerns over privacy, money laundering as well as consumer protection and financial stability.
Meanwhile, Facebook announced last month that it would launch its global cryptocurrency in 2020. The new coin would be regulated by the Libra Association, which comprises of Facebook and 28 partners, including Mastercard Inc, PayPal Holdings Inc and Uber Technologies Inc. At the moment, no other banks are part of the association. JPMorgan Chase & Co, the largest US bank by assets, has recently announced its plans to launch its own digital coins.