Mick Mulvaney, a conservative Republican congressman from South Carolina and a long-time bitcoin supporter has been picked to run the Office of Management and Budget.
President-elect Trump stated:
With Mick at the head of OMB, my Administration is going to make smart choices about America’s budget, bring new accountability to our federal government, and renew the American taxpayer’s trust in how their money is spent!
Mulvaney became interested in bitcoin around April 2014 when he publicly stated:
Just wrapped up a Small Business Committee hearing on Bitcoin. I know it isn’t a mainstream issue yet — and may not become one — but it is extraordinarily interesting and something that could eventually influence the dollar and our monetary policy. In fact, one of the witnesses drew favorable comparisons between Bitcoin and Milton Friedman.
He is the first member of Congress to accept bitcoin donations and questioned Janet Yellen, Chair of the Federal Reserve, in October 2015: “what Bitcoin’s rising popularity says about public perception of the Federal Reserve’s conduct of monetary policy,” according to Coin Center, a non-profit bitcoin research and advocacy center.
Moreover, Mulvaney, together with Jared Polis, a Democratic member of Congress from Colorado, launched the bipartisan Blockchain Caucus in September with Mulvaney stating:
“Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the financial services industry, the U.S. economy and the delivery of government services, and I am proud to be involved with this initiative.”
According to Mother Jones, Mulvaney’s view of the Federal Reserve is that it has “effectively devalued the dollar” and “choke[d] off economic growth.” While regarding bitcoin Mulvaney stated that the currency is “not manipulatable by any government.”
This is the latest sign that the Trump administration is likely to be highly favorable to this space. Peter Thiel, an investor in Bitpay and vocal bitcoin supporter who campaigned for Trump during the election is now an advisor. Milo Yiannopoulos, the flamboyant technology editor for Breitbart News whose founder has been named chief strategist and Senior Counselor for the Presidency of Donald Trump is known to be a bitcoiner.
Mike Cernovich, a strong and influential supporter of Trump during the campaign, is a bitcoin users. In a short interview with Cenovich for my editorial before the election after he tweeted about bitcoin, Cernovich stated:
“Freedom is a mindset and BitCoin is freedom. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Trump’s sons hold BitCoin.”
New York and California have been ranked as the worst regulatory environment for digital currencies, out of seven global centers. The Obama administration has given this space IRS’s double taxation, requirements for Fintech companies to become a bank if they wish to operate across all 52 states in a streamlined fashion and of course the disastrous BitLicense. That is now likely to drastically change as the Trump administration, following UK’s lead, potentially provides this space with a sandbox, hopefully ends double taxation, and, maybe, even sets up a research fund to encourage FinTech innovation.
Image from Shutterstock and Flickr/Gage Skidmore.