BITCOIN is showing signs of weakening under the pressure of mounting criticism from the White House as people are being put off investing in the digital asset. Two months ago, BTC was flying high and looking to build on a drive towards $14,000 with the wind in its sails and a growing trading volume
What no one saw coming was a Donald Trump-shaped bump in the road. So when the US president waded in with his two penneth – branding bitcoin as being based on “nothing but thin air” – it stopped the advance in its tracks. There then followed a series of outbursts from senior financial figures in the US, coupled with a string of scandals that did little to curb the unease of anyone with trust issues over cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin – still the most dominant crypto by some considerable margin – slipped from its lofty perch and began to fall down the branches of $12,000 and $11,000 before crumpling in a heap at $10,000 where it currently crouches in what many see as a safe place.
Don’t hold your breath, though.
Donald Trump has the bit between his teeth now and is sending in some more heavies to kick BTC while it’s down.
Seizing on the current momentum behind fixing America’s crippling opioid epidemic, the White House this week sent an advisory to all its financial institutions urging them to help tackle synthetic drugs – namely fentanyl.
Donald Trump is not a fan of bitcoin (Image: Getty)
That advisory note detailed how the White House believed drug smugglers were financing their opioid rackets across the Mexican border, and the finger of blame is being pointed directly at cryptocurrencies.
In fact, it specifically singles out Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Monero as having a direct bearing on an opioid epidemic that has gripped the US for years. Almost a thousand people a week die across the states from opioid-related overdoses.
“Drug traffickers and consumers increasingly use clearnet and darknet e-commerce markets, paired with online payment systems and virtual currencies, to further anonymise fentanyl purchase and distribution,” says the White House advisory.
It also detailed the recent arrest of two fentanyl dealers who had been operating on the dark web, stating: “Their customers made purchases with virtual currency, which the couple then sent to virtual currency exchangers to convert the funds into US fiat currency.”
There are, of course, many experts who will explain that the use of bitcoin can help rather than hinder politicians.
Crypto is, after all, underpinned by blockchain technology which means every transaction is logged on a completely unchallengeable ledger.
This would make tracing the criminals easier than tracking laundered cash for financial forensic teams.
That, of course, is by the by.
Donald Trump is clearly no fan of cryptocurrency.
And, right now, he’s got bitcoin in his sights.