President Trump attacked Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency on Thursday, claiming it will have “little standing or dependability” and that Facebook would need to seek a banking charter if it wanted to move forward.
While cryptocurrencies have certainly been growing for quite some time now, Trump seems to have a particular issue with Facebook deciding to move into the space.
“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 tweeted. “Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”
Going on, Trump wrote “Facebook Libra’s ‘virtual currency’ will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, but like other Banks, National and International.”
Trump also seemed to feel that Facebook’s virtual currency was meant as a way to attack the dollar.
“We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable,” Trump said. “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!”
We’ve reached out to the White House to see if it had any additional clarification about Trump’s comments. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on Trump’s tweet. In a July 3 blog post, Libra head David Marcus said Facebook won’t see financial data from Libra and that Libra was “committed to a collaborative process with regulators, central banks, and lawmakers to ensure that Libra helps with the kinds of issues that the existing financial system has been fighting, notably around money laundering, terrorism financing, and more.”Facebook initially released a white paper outlining its plans for Libra in June. The cryptocurrency has major backers such as Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal and is meant as a way for money to be quicker and easily moved around the world.For what it’s worth, Trump isn’t alone in his concerns. There’s bipartisan skepticism surrounding the idea due to the lack of regulation in the space.Last week, Democrats in the House of Representatives called on the social network to stop its plans to establish the currency, arguing that both Congress and regulators needed to weigh in on the cryptocurrency before it was launched to the public.“Because Facebook is already in the hands of over a quarter of the world’s population, it is imperative that Facebook and its partners immediately cease implementation plans until regulators and Congress have an opportunity to examine these issues and take action,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.“During this moratorium, we intend to hold public hearings on the risks and benefits of cryptocurrency-based activities and explore legislative solutions. Failure to cease implementation before we can do so risks a new Swiss-based financial system that is too big to fail.”India is also considering a ban on Libra, which might potentially make the currency dead on arrival.