Steve Mnuchin, the former US treasury secretary who served under Donald Trump believes that it is okay to use Bitcoin as a Gold substitute. He gave these comments during a recent interview with CNBC show Squawk Box. Mnuchin also said that his view on Bitcoin had evolved in the last few months or so.
Mnuchin Does a 180 on Bitcoin
Mnuchin was Trump’s treasury secretary for most of the 4 years of his presidency. As erratic nature of the Trump presidency got along and his white house colleagues got themselves fired left and right, he was smart enough (perhaps lucky) to not be fired from his treasury secretary position during Trump’s tenure. He was in the good books of Donnie and remained at the helm. His most prominent position during the Trump era was the US-China trade war that Trump started. Mnuchin was in many ways an architect of this trade war and kept his boss happy by constantly banning Chinese goods.
However, the former treasury secretary was also quite anti-Bitcoin during his tenure as treasury secretary. He publicly dismissed the cryptocurrency sector in general and Bitcoin in particular regularly and put legal obstacles on its adoption path.
But now that whole sweeping anti-Bitcoin stance may be a thing of the past as Mnuchin is now looking to change his stance gradually. He said this during the recent CNBC interview:
The first part of it is I think the underlying technology of blockchain is really incredible and has lots of different things, particularly in fintech and finance. I think as it relates to Bitcoin — if people want to buy Bitcoin as a subsititute, no different from buying gold or some other asset — it’s fine.”
What Does this Mean?
However, his words don’t matter as much as they would have done back when he was in office. Back then, it was all about over-regulating the entire crypto space but now he does seem flexible on the issue. Perhaps the crypto lobbying efforts are becoming effective and influencing heavily on current and former public officials in the US at least.
However, no change in policy may be expected from someone like Mnuchin even if he came back to power. He is a centrist who likes to maintain the hegemony of the USD and wouldn’t like Bitcoin to make it weak. He also admitted that he isn’t going to hold Bitcoin himself as well.
Image Source: Marco Verch Professional under CC