Far-right activists are criticizing Donald Trump after the former president referred to Bitcoin as a “scam.”
Speaking to Stuart Varney on Fox Business Monday, Trump criticized Bitcoin because he believes it competes against the U.S. dollar.
“Bitcoin just seems like a scam,” he said, “I don’t like it because it’s another currency competing against the dollar. I want the dollar to be the currency of the world; that’s what I’ve always said.”
Trump’s comments drew scorn from far-right activists such as conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer and Ali Alexander, the leader of the so-called Stop the Steal movement. They each questioned the former president’s anti-Bitcoin stance and claimed that the real “scam” was Trump’s longstanding support for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Since we are on the topic of scams, I’d say COVID vaccines are also a scam,” Loomer wrote on Telegram Monday. “The reality is Trump’s base is pro-cryptocurrency and anti-COVID vaccine.”
Alexander agreed with Loomer, adding that “Trump is so passionately pro his experimental vaccine and anti-Bitcoin yet his base is the opposite on both issues.”
“He has terrible advisors and needs to re-examine these issues of freedom,” Alexander wrote to his nearly 20,000 subscribers on Telegram. “Like dude… get over it. We the People choose freedom.”
Trump has made similarly dismissive comments about Bitcoin in past, claiming that cryptocurrencies are “highly volatile” and useful for those engaging in illicit activity.
“Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity,” the former president wrote on his since deleted Twitter account in 2019. According to a report from blockchain data firm Chainalysis, illicit activity made up just 0.34 percent of all cryptocurrency transaction volume last year.
Former national security adviser John Bolton claimed in his tell-all book, “The Room Where It Happened,“ that Trump ordered Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to “go after” Bitcoin instead of focusing on negotiating a trade agreement with China. Mnuchin subsequently took steps to impose new regulations on the cryptocurrency industry.
While Trump’s anti-Bitcoin stance disappointed a portion of his base, the former president found support among adherents of the far-right QAnon conspiracy movement, many of whom believe that Bitcoin is a deep state ploy.
“I think Trump doesn’t like [Bitcoin] because of its nefarious/evil origins,” one adherent wrote on a QAnon Telegram channel with 20,000 subscribers. “It’s going to go, hopefully with a dirty great bang.”