Ex-Trump strategist Steve Bannon bats for bitcoin

June 15, 2018
Chris Wheal

President Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, reveals in an interview with the New York Times that he has a “good stake” in bitcoin and is interested in working with entrepreneurs and countries interested in creating their own cryptocurrencies.

Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon mulled the idea of his own cryptocurrency: MarketWatch

Bannon says that his interest in cryptocurrencies extends beyond their financial potential; he regards decentralised money as an important part of his political mission as it represents “disruptive populism, it takes control back from central authorities. It’s revolutionary.

“It was pretty obvious to me that unless you got somehow control over your currency, all these political movements were going to be beholden to who controlled the currency … control of the currency, is control of everything.”

A deplorables coin

The NYT reports that Bannon could nurse ambitions to create a cryptocurrency of his own. Earlier this year, at a meeting with academics at Harvard University, he is said to have floated the idea of creating a new digital currency that he dubbed a “deplorables coin”, after  Hillary’s Clinton’s description of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables” during the 2016 election campaign.

He has also had private meetings with cryptocurrency investors and hedge funds to discuss cryptocurrency regulation and working on initial coin offerings [ICOs] through his investment business, Bannon & Company.

Hedge fund manager at Ikigai and blockchain advisor Timothy Lewis, who met with Bannon last month, told the NYT he was impressed with Bannon’s extensive knowledge of crypto and that “he had clearly done his homework”.

However, the report suggests that Bannon’s ambitions have received short shrift from cryptocurrency researcher Colin Platt, who told the paper: “It almost seems like a natural progression for a man who gained prominence by shovelling out unfounded conspiracies to now be shilling complex technology and financial instruments to an unsophisticated investing public.”

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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