In July, President Trump responded to Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency announcement by taking to Twitter to announce that he’s not a fan of Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon recently took the opposite view, suggesting that Bitcoin and other digital currencies could play an important role in the future.
Bannon has long been a proponent of disrupting the current political system and has championed a form of populism that he hopes will soon sweep away the entrenched establishment. According to him, cryptocurrencies have a role to play in what he sees as an ongoing populist revolt. On Friday, he told CNBC:
“Cryptocurrencies have a big future. They could be a very important part going forward, particularly in this global populist revolt.”
Bannon claims to own some Bitcoin himself, after he has “enough courage” to purchase the digital currency while prices were declining. In his remarks to CNBC, he suggested that governments, banks, and central bankers have an interest in protecting fiat currencies, which explains why they are eager to regulate competitors like cryptocurrency.
He also told CNBC that he suspects Facebook’s foray into the cryptocurrency universe is at least in part motivated by a need to counter Chinese competitors offering payment systems like Alibaba’s Alipay. Bannon suggested that those foreign payment systems were part of an effort to diminish the dollar’s reserve currency status.