Bitcoin advocate Caitlin Long says President Donald Trump’s staff is misleading him.
After Trump unexpectedly blasted cryptocurrencies via Twitter on Thursday, Long, a Wall Street veteran and the head of Wyoming’s Blockchain Task Force, responded, saying his views “are just wrong.” Trump says he’s not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies “which are not money”, “based on thin air” and “can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”
Trump did not mention any positive use cases for cryptocurrencies.
Long responded by spotlighting the progress that has been made in crypto-friendly Wyoming.
“Wyoming, the state that gave you the highest margin of victory in 2016 (even bigger than Reagan), welcomes law-abiding crypto companies and created a new type of bank charter to allow them to comply with the law. You are just wrong on this – your staff is misleading you.”
Long says his tweet is the result of employing a staff with little experience in crypto, which will encourage bad economic policy if he doesn’t stop to seek out other opinions.
“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 years – it’s unstable and inefficient. I’ve been surprised that your administration has coddled it instead of opening it up to healthy competition.
The crypto genie can’t be put back in the bottle and 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 and look what happened –it didn’t die.
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 – and crypto is easier to track (check with the FBI!). Mr President, you don’t need to choose between crypto and the dollar!
To close, please 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 and ensure the US keeps our lead in financial services!”
Some of Trump’s staff members have supported crypto in the past.
White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has touted Bitcoin as a currency that’s “not manipulatable by any government.” SEC commissioner Elad Roisman has released statements in the past saying the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission needs to reexamine its rules and regulations surrounding blockchain. And fellow SEC commissioner Hester Peirce openly supports the approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds.
Brian Armstrong, the co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, thinks Trump’s flurry of tweets represents a milestone for the crypto industry.
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
Gabor Gurbacs, director of digital asset strategy at investment management firm VanEck, countered Trump with a list of market advantages in a regulated cryptocurrency environment.
“President Trump, approving a well-regulated Bitcoin ETF that focuses on investor protection may help protect the public interest and promote healthy, fair and orderly markets. A Bitcoin ETF may offer the following protections and benefits.
Daily proof of reserves (NAV)
Proper tax documents
Other crypto advocates insist, like Long, that Trump is ill-advised and uninformed about cryptocurrencies. Justin Sun, CEO of leading cryptocurrencies Tron (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT) responded to Trump’s anti-crypto tweet,
“Mr. President, you are misled by fake news.”
He invited the President to join a lunch date in San Francisco later this month when Sun sits down with outspoken crypto opponent and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett. Suns says he’ll use the opportunity to educate the outspoken crypto critics about the nascent technology.
Trump’s Bitcoin tweet sparked a huge amount of engagement on Twitter with over 70,000 likes. Meanwhile, Google Trends shows that searches for Donald Trump and Bitcoin over the past seven days are closely correlated with worldwide searches for the world’s leading cryptocurrency outperforming searches for the US President.