U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin piled on to comments made recently by President Donald Trump by calling cryptocurrencies a “national security issue.” Bitcoin and crypto proponents more broadly have long wondered if (and how) the government of the United States would recognize the slow but steady encroachment of decentralized assets, and it appears to have begun. Facebook’s announcement of the Libra project on June 18, 2019, will likely prove the point on countless future historical timelines at which the U.S. government began a slow, ultimately ineffectiveassault upon the cryptocurrency realm.
Everything that Mnuchin attributed to Bitcoin — for one thing, that it has been used in concert with such “illicit activity [as] cyber crime, tax evasion, extortion … illicit drugs, and human trafficking” — can be said, and to degrees an order of magnitude or more larger, about the U.S. dollar. It’s an argument suitable for children.
All of this is extremely bullish for Bitcoin and the entire cryptocurrency complex. A bipartisan political salvo against crypto assets will undoubtedly accelerate the pace of innovation as well as increasing the value proposition, and ultimately the market price, of assets that ensure privacy. Higher prices will draw more crypto developers into the market and direct more resources at capturing market share, which means — as in any market — that consumers are the ultimate beneficiaries.
Mnuchin isn’t wrong, though. There is a tremendous risk to American national security where currencies are considered: the dollar. Those who habitually cite its reserve-currency status as a reason not to worry are making an argument that stands on increasingly precarious foundations: since 2010, the U.N. and other groups have cited the dollar’s downward slide in value, urging the adoption of an alternate system of reserves.
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