Donald Trump with bit coins in the background

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Trump’s big new Bitcoin push alienates his gold-bar-hoarding base

Right-wing influencers have been hucking gold for years. But now Trump is big on Bitcoin.

 

Katherine Huggins

Tech

Former President Donald Trump’s posts on Truth Social—the free speech social media platform he launched two years ago—generally receive a warm reception.

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But a late-night missive promoting Bitcoin on Tuesday seems to have alienated his audience.

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“VOTE FOR TRUMP! Bitcoin mining may be our last line of defense against a CBDC [Central Bank Digital Currency],” Trump wrote shortly before midnight.

“Biden’s hatred of Bitcoin only helps China, Russia, and the Radical Communist Left,” he continued. “We want all the remaining Bitcoin to be MADE IN THE USA!!! It will help us be ENERGY DOMINANT!!!”

Trump then linked to a Bitcoin Magazine op-ed penned by Brian Morgenstern, a former staffer in the the Trump administration and current head of public policy for Riot Platforms, a large Bitcoin mining company.

The article called Trump the “Best choice for Bitcoin.”

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The Federal Reserve has been considering using a CBDC, noting on its website that it could provide households and businesses with a “convenient, electronic form of central bank money, with the safety and liquidity that would entail” and support faster payments.

Many conservatives have pushed back on a potential CBDC due to concerns about an expansion of power for the Fed and conspiratorial, apocalyptic fears.

“Anti-CBDC legislation is necessary to safeguard Americans’ financial privacy in the face of potential surveillance, control and political intimidation,” Ryan Walker, executive vice president of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s political arm, told Politico in a statement earlier this year.

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Morgenstern’s piece calls Trump’s support of Bitcoin a key effort of “decentralization” which could, outside of legislation, also thwart a CBDC

But on Truth Social, pushing back against CBDC does not go far enough.

While plenty of Trump’s base is Bitcoin-hyping hustlers, a great deal fear any digital currency as a government intrusion.

Many have accused the government of wanting to eliminate cash entirely, to curtail freedom and track individual purchases.

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“Gold standard… not Bitcoin,” replied one self-described Christian conservative user.

“CASH IS KING!” replied someone else, posting an image calling for a transition back to a gold-backed currency. “Make money valuable again,” the image’s text overlay reads.

Gold bars have been a long-time fixation on the right, and a number of right-wing influencers promote gold on their podcasts and streams, running counter to the president’s new fondness for Bitcoin.

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“Bitcoin is a fantasy, no real wealth, gambling with no odds,” commented someone else.

One Trump supporter offered stronger choice words in response to Trump’s post.

“FUCK bitcoin! It is not US currency, and should never, ever be allowed for monetary exchange,” the user wrote. “I am truly disappointed that you, of all people would support this sham.”

But Trump has embraced cryptocurrency, billing himself as a “crypto president” during a fundraiser in San Francisco last week and rebuking Biden’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation.

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“I AM VERY POSITIVE AND OPEN MINDED TO CRYPTOCURRENCY COMPANIES, AND ALL THINGS RELATED TO THIS NEW AND BURGEONING INDUSTRY,” he wrote on Truth Social in late May.

Trump added that the U.S. should be the leader in cryptocurrency but that Biden “WANTS IT TO DIE A SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH.”

That post came less than one week after his campaign announced it would accept cryptocurrency donations to “build a crypto army moving the campaign to victory on November 5th!”

Trump’s positive stance on cryptocurrency marks a major shift from comments he made while in office.

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“Bitcoin, it just seems like a scam,” Trump said in 2021. “I don’t like it because it’s another currency competing against the dollar.”


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