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In his yet-to-be-published book, ex-national security advisor John Bolton says that Donald Trump has a very negative attitude toward Bitcoin for quite a long time already.
John Bolton has said in his book that U.S. President Donald Trump instructed the Treasury Secretary to “go after” Bitcoin. This comes as the President was antagonistic towards the cryptocurrency and the crypto space at this time last year.
The book titled “The Room where it happened” is yet to hit bookshelves. The United States Department of Justice is doing all it can to stop it from getting out. Bolton indicates in the book that President Trump wasn’t a stranger to Bitcoin.
Donald Trump Hates Bitcoin
The U.S. paper the Washington examiner has gotten excerpts of the book. According to the paper, the quote came from a May 2018 conversation. In a tense discussion with Steven Mnuchin, Trump allegedly told the Treasury Secretary:
“Go after Bitcoin [for fraud].”
Mnuchin then replied:
“If you don’t want me on trade, fine, your economic team will execute whatever you want.”
This is before President Trump’s tweeting against Bitcoin. At the time, the 2017 cryptocurrency bubble had ended and the fallout was everywhere. Contextually, the conversation with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin had to do with the U.S.-China trade war.
Even though these comments occurred in 2018, nothing much was done about the regulation of cryptocurrencies until 2019. In 2019 Steven Munichin told Bloomberg:
“We’re looking at all of the crypto assets. We’re going to make sure we have a unified approach and my guess is that there are going to be more regulations that come out from all these agencies.”
Things appeared to have reached their climax when Munichin said on behalf of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) that there would be “significant new requirements” for cryptocurrency service providers.
This comes as the U.S, Treasury has indicated that it wants progress to occur as regards technology. it also said that it doesn’t want digital assets to be modern-day “old Swiss secret number bank accounts.”
U.S. Treasury Hasn’t Started Tracking Digital Assets on a Large Scale
While this possibility exists, the Treasury hasn’t indicated the use of any tools (yet) for the tracking of such transactions. The only set of regulations for cross-border tracking are those put in place by the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF).
The FATF last year told member nations to implement “the travel rule”. According to the rule, Virtuals asset providers (VASPs) have to now hold records of both senders and receivers of digital assets.
This is geared towards further regulation of cryptocurrency assets on a global scale. While it has its advantages, privacy concerns remain an issue. With an increasingly polarized society, many United States residents fear government intervention in their finances. Another issue of note is the unlawful monitoring of transactions.
This is where digital assets come into play. Due to the technology backing them, digital assets are secure. They are also independent of political forces. It is this allure that has driven many to them.
While the U.S. President is in an election year, Bitcoin (BTC) prices are neutral to the events taking place in America. This may be another plus for the crypto space and one more challenge for the American President.