By Teeka Tiwari, Editor, Palm Beach Confidential
I’ve never believed a foreign power could unseat U.S. military dominance.
We have oceans to the east and west… Mexico to the south and Canada to the north… and the most powerful military in the world.
Seriously, who poses an invasion threat?
But what about American economic might?
You see, the U.S. dollar is at the heart of our strength. No matter where you live in the world, markets price commodities (like oil and gold) in dollars. So there’s a constant global demand for U.S. dollars.
This demand has allowed the U.S. government to run outlandish deficits for decades—without collapsing the dollar’s value.
No other currency has that type of power.
Some think the Chinese yuan could challenge the dollar as a reserve currency. But China doesn’t respect property rights. So it isn’t a real threat.
Now, I’ve always thought the dollar’s greatest threat would come from within: either from U.S. states or corporations issuing their own money.
And based on his recent comments, President Trump agrees with me…
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The Rise of Corporate “Coins”
In July, President Trump unleashed a volley of tweets against Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency (emphasis added)…
I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money… Similarly, Facebook Libra’s “virtual currency” will have little standing or dependability.
And in a later tweet, Trump revealed his true fear (emphasis added):
We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!
Now, President Trump isn’t the only world leader worried about the rise of corporate-issued money.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney have all come out against Libra.
U.S. Representative Brad Sherman, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, took it a step further. He’s calling for a ban on cryptocurrencies. Last week, he demanded that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appear before Congress (emphasis added):
Ultimately, it is time to bring Mark Zuckerberg here. He is the one that has made billions of dollars out of us, relies on the U.S. government to protect his billions, and now wants to undermine the system.
To be clear, Libra isn’t a true cryptocurrency. It’s a digital coin that’ll be pegged to a basket of major currencies (like the dollar and euro).
But while Bitcoin is still too volatile to use as a daily form of digital money, Libra could pose a legitimate threat to the U.S. dollar.
Think about it…
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Facebook has a global userbase of nearly 2.4 billion people. Libra’s adoption would be almost immediate if it launched today. It would become the world’s most widely used currency overnight.
And imagine if Facebook negotiates with advertisers to give Libra users 5–10% discounts on all their products and services. How would governments or central banks compete with that?
They can’t—which is why they want to stop Facebook.
In fact, some lawmakers have proposed a bill to ban big tech firms from issuing their own digital currencies. According to Reuters, the “Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act” could impose up to $1 million in daily fines.
Clearly, the idea of corporate-issued money spooks the feds. And it’s no wonder why…
If Libra works, how long will it be before Amazon issues its own coin?
The world’s largest e-commerce platform conducts over $239 billion per year in trade. (That’s more than the GDP of Portugal.)
What happens to the dollar if all that trade migrated to Amazon’s coin? And what if Apple, Google, or Uber follow suit?
You can see just how much the world will change if big tech brings its fierce competitiveness to the global currency game.
So it makes sense President Trump has come out against Libra.
Now, the U.S. government can potentially derail Libra. So I understand if you’re worried about governments cracking down on these corporate “coins.”
But can it do the same to Bitcoin?
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True Cryptos Will Survive
In terms of intervention, it’s proven impossible for governments to shut down or influence Bitcoin’s network. China has tried to ban Bitcoin exchanges, yet crypto trading still flourishes there.
So Libra may become an important digital alternative to the U.S. dollar (if regulations don’t kill it first). But it’ll never offer the safety, security, and pseudo-anonymity of true cryptos.
Even if we do see a rise in corporate coins, it’ll be great for true cryptos, too. You see, companies like Facebook will take crypto mainstream.
As they spend time and money educating their users, some will naturally investigate Bitcoin. And they’ll discover that it’s very different from Libra.
While Libra relies on a closed cartel of global companies, anyone can join Bitcoin’s open network. And like a central bank, Libra’s “sponsors” can issue more coins at any time. But Bitcoin’s computer code caps its number of tokens at 21 million.
Look, Facebook embracing this technology’s terminology—and riding the coattails of blockchain interest—is very bullish.
These corporate coins will bring billions of new users to crypto. And the mass marketing will skyrocket the value of Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market.
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