Trump ordered Mnuchin to ‘go after Bitcoin’

19 Jun 2020

Bitcoin US flag U.S. President Donald Trump instructed the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to attack Bitcoin over negotiating a trade with China, former national security adviser John Bolton reportedly claims.

In an exchange about imposing sanctions and tariffs with China, Mr Trump reportedly told Mnuchin: “Don’t be a trade negotiator,” ordering him instead to: “Go after Bitcoin.”

The Washington Examiner, which originally obtained this excerpt from the book, wrote that Bolton dated the quote to a conversation in May 2018. 

A year later, in 2019, the President took to twitter to slam the world’s largest cryptocurrency. At the time he wrote: “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile.”

Mr Trump was largely ridiculed on both occasions for his criticisms of crypto. One of those high profile voices was that of Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of deVere Group.

On Thursday he said: “Assuming the instruction to the Treasury Secretary is true, it highlights how backward-looking and out-of-touch the current U.S. President is on this issue.”

He continues: “Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are becoming almost universally regarded the future of money.

“Why? Because of the staggering pace of the digitalization of our lives and cryptocurrencies are digital by their very nature.

“They’re also borderless, making them perfectly suited to the world of commerce, trade, and the movement of people.”

Mr Trump’s attacks in 2019 came after Facebook announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, Libra.