“Trump could issue an executive order banning US persons from dealing in Bitcoin,” said Krüger. “He has already done so with the Petro. Trump could ban the Petro because it represented an “attempt to circumvent U.S. sanctions,” [which is] an act of foreign policy.”
The comments appeared in the wake of Trump’s tweet on Thursday, wherein he publicized his personal opinions on the world’s largest decentralized cryptocurrency.
I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019
Krüger stressed that Trump would not be the first US president who signs executive orders against certain types of financial assets. In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt banned the hoarding of gold under the ‘ Trading with the Enemy Act .’ The legislation allows the presidents to take specific measures against financial entities that pose a threat to the US economy, security, and whatnot. All Trump needs, in the end, is one valid reason to ban bitcoin.
The President has three.
“First, crypto represents a threat to the banking system, which has strong lobbying powers, as evident by this swift attempt to ban Libra,” said Krüger. “Second, crypto could reduce Washington’s ability to impose economic sanctions, a critical foreign policy competitive advantage. Third, crypto is often perceived as facilitating illegal activity. Trump said so explicitly.”
Overturning the President’s Order
If a new executive order signed by the White House could ram into a decade of bitcoin’s infrastructural development in the US, then banks could stop doing business with regional crypto startups and firms.
But democracy can overturn orders of even the most influential politician, says the Heritage Foundation, an American thinktank.
“When a president’s authority comes from power granted by statute, Congress is free to negate or modify that authority or pass legislation to nullify the order itself, because the Constitution empowers Congress to make the laws that govern us […] Federal courts also may strike down executive orders that exceed the scope of the president’s authority.”
That nevertheless leaves bitcoin’s future in the dark. If it’s not the President himself, the US regulators could target fiat onramps.
“For example,” said Krüger, “US regulators could arguably determine crypto assets are too volatile to be sold to retail (non-accredited) investors and deal a hefty blow to crypto exchanges.”
2/ Bitcoin is code. The US government cannot ban code