Cryptocurrencies have received mixed reactions since they gained the attention of the media in 2017. In the face of all these we have seen stricter regulations, an increase in the number of blockchain projects, hype, and of course, those who believe that cryptocurrencies are a bubble waiting to burst, just like the dotcom era.
This time around, Stephen Bannon who is the co-founder of Breitbart News and the former Chief Strategist for US President Donald Trump’s administration, has revealed his plans to delve into the world of cryptocurrencies.
According to a news article by the New York Times, Bannon is planning to venture into cryptos and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). He has held meetings with investors and managers of hedge funds with the aim of possibly issuing an ICO under his investment firm, Bannon & Company.
Despite this revelation, Bannon was rather economical in revealing his crypto plans to the news outlet. This is arguably because of his controversial stance and reputation could hinder the chances of success of some projects, if he is linked to them.
It is alleged that Bannon became interested in cryptocurrencies after observing child actor, turned crypto entrepreneur, Brock Pierce. Bannon worked as the vice chairman of Pierce’s gaming company and he was quick to reveal that even though he had prior knowledge of cryptocurrencies way back at 2016, his job with Trump’s campaign prevented him from getting seriously involved in the technology.
Confirming Bannon’s knowledge on cryptos, co-founder of the Ikigai crypto hedge fund, Timothy Lewis, also told the New York Times that he was “impressed” with how much Bannon knew about crypto technology during a meeting in May. He remarked: “I didn’t know what to expect going in, but he had clearly done his homework.”
Interestingly, Bannon had previously nursed the idea of creating his own cryptocurrency earlier this year, at Harvard. His cryptocurrency was to be called “deplorables coin”, in reference to Hillary Clinton’s remark to supporters of Donald Trump – “baskets of deplorables”.
Bannon was also quite vocal during a March lecture in Zurich, lauding the use of cryptocurrencies in helping the European anti-establishment movement. According to him, countries should be looking towards creating state-backed cryptocurrencies based on their national wealth. He said:
“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 […] It’s disruptive populism. It takes control back from central authorities. It’s revolutionary.”
In conclusion, it is interesting to see that governments and their officials are becoming more receptive to blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies in general.