Trump embraces Bitcoin in bizarre post to Truth Social

The currency, which has been tied to terrorism, earned the backing of Trump after a bill sought to rein in crypto

Published June 12, 2024 8: 33PM (EDT)

Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for his campaign rally at Sunset Park on June 09, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Donald Trump vocalized his support for Bitcoin — and for bringing mining operations for the digital currency to the United States — in a Truth Social post, weeks after championing the crime-linked coin at the Libertarian National Convention, to boos.

The post, put up minutes before midnight Eastern time on Tuesday, reads “VOTE FOR TRUMP! Bitcoin mining may be our last line of defense against a CBDC,” or a central bank digital currency, a digital form of currency that a bank like the Federal Reserve could hypothetically implement. 

Though he rallied against the niche potential currency, Trump also demonstrated his lack of digital fluency in the post, arguing that making, or mining, all Bitcoin in the United States will “help us be ENERGY DOMINANT.” Bitcoin mining is among the most energy-intensive computer processes, and there is no link between energy production and the invented currency.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which reached an all-time value high this March, have grown significantly in popularity over the past several years, but it’s unlikely that Trump’s attempt to court the crypto-bro vote will be a decisive factor in the election, with a 2023 Pew poll finding that the vast majority of Americans reject the currency as a safe and reliable store of value.

Trump also attacked “Biden’s hatred of Bitcoin,” claiming that he was helping foreign powers by not embracing the inherently worthless tokens. 

While the Biden administration has been mostly quiet on the issue of Bitcoin, and the Biden campaign reportedly even considered accepting the digital commodity in donations, Democrats in the Senate advanced a bill through the intelligence select committee which would place more scrutiny on cryptocurrency transactions, worrying some traders.

The highly-volatile digital coins have been linked to numerous illicit activities, including drug and human trafficking, scams, and terrorism. The coins’ use of a blockchain, which anonymizes the exchange process, makes them ideal for crime. Cryptocurrency exchange boss Sam Bankman-Fried landed 25 years in prison after defrauding customers and investors to the tune of nearly $10 billion. 

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