Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s choice for acting White House chief of staff, appears to be bullish on bitcoin. As Washington Post columnist Matt O’Brien noted back in 2016 (when the former Republican congressman was picked by Trump for director of the Office of Management and Budget), Mulvaney has endorsed strongly. In a speech, the audio of which was obtained by Mother Jones, he praised bitcoin for being a currency “not manipulatable by any government” and bashed the Federal Reserve, saying that it had “effectively devalued the dollar” and “choke[d] off economic growth.”
The president named Mulvaney suddenly on Friday, after former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, took himself out of contention. Though Mulvaney called Trump a “terrible human being” back in 2016, he has since built a good relationship with the president, according to the New York Times. “He would have given up a very valuable appendage to get that job,” a source told Politico. (Fun!)
Mulvaney’s bitcoin comments were part of a 2016 speech he gave to the John Birch Society, a radical right group so extreme and paranoid that, according to Mother Jones, it considered the civil rights movement to be a communist plot. (Members of the group also did things like fight against fluoridation of water, and, more recently, suggest that the Affordable Care Act “supports euthanasia.”)
Mulvaney himself is a hard-line conservative and “a self-proclaimed deficit hawk who envisioned enacting deep cuts across the federal government upon assuming the role of budget director,” according to the New York Times—which make his anti-Fed views less surprising.
While in Congress, he worked to create the Blockchain Caucus, a bipartisan group designed to understand and encourage the use of blockchain technology. “Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the financial services industry, the U.S. economy, and the delivery of government services,” said Mulvaney at the time.
So what does his appointment mean for crypto? Though Mulvaney’s appointment won’t formally alter actions taken by the SEC or CFTC, it may influence the White House’s policy-making process, should it ever be called upon to take a stand for or against the industry. From his previous comments, Mulvaney seems minded to leave bitcoin well alone.