The White House is keeping an eye on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made this revelation during a press conference on Thursday. “I know this is something that is being monitored by our team here,” she said, responding to a Buzzfeed reporter’s question about whether President Donald Trump believes bitcoin should receive increased regulatory attention from the government.
“In terms of specific briefings and announcements on it, I don’t have anything that I can share with you right now,” she said, adding that a Homeland Security advisor had mentioned the issue in a recent meeting with President Trump.
“Tom Bossert, with the Homeland Security team, an advisor to the president, has brought this up in a meeting earlier this week,” she said.”I know this is something he is keeping an eye on.”
Commenting on the press conference, billionaire hedge fund manager and bitcoin bull Mike Novogratz told Fox Business Network’s Countdown to the Closing Bell that he believes the government will continue to treat the industry favorably.
“I think Ms. Sanders probably had prepared for the question and I’m sure Homeland Security is looking at it, the Treasury has looked at it, the Fed has looked at it,” he said, “our experience so far is that U.S. regulators have been very receptive to the whole cryptocurrency evolution. They don’t want to squish innovation. They are looking at this as an interesting movement.”
President Trump has never discussed bitcoin publicly, but there are several bitcoin backers in his orbit.
Mick Mulvaney, White House budget director and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, co-founded the bipartisan Congressional Blockchain Caucus, a bloc of lawmakers who seek to promote cryptocurrency usage at the federal legislative level. As CCN.com reported, the Blockchain Caucus — now sans Mulvaney — recently introduced the Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act of 2017, a bill that would eliminate reporting requirements for cryptocurrency transactions worth less than $600.
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel — who recently said that bitcoin has “great potential left” as a store of value and a substitute for physical gold — was a member of the Trump administration’s transition team and was reportedly considered to lead the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, before he withdrew his name from consideration this week.
Mark Calabria, chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence, has stated in the past that he is excited about bitcoin and other alternative currencies. The economist, who previously headed financial regulation studies at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute, is optimistic about bitcoin’s potential to disrupt the financial system.
Given Trump’s proclivity to discuss the news of the day on Twitter, it may not be long before the president reveals his thoughts on bitcoin — 280 characters at a time.
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