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Facebook’s Libra hearings in Congress are free entertainment

In an unusually coherent series of tweets, President Donald Trump came out against cryptocurrency, generally, and bitcoin and Facebook’s nascent Libra cryptocurrency project, specifically. These tweets suggest that the congressional hearings scheduled for July 16th and 17th will be especially hilarious.

It is predictable that the president of the United States of America, structurally, must always be a bitter no-coiner — but that hasn’t stopped libertarians and the far right from losing their shit about the tweets. The structural thing is maybe not obvious but: the president of the United States is, ultimately, the person in charge of the dollar; the power of the dollar is an extension of the power of the state. Over the course of American history, the powers of the presidency have in fact expanded; the president of the state is unlikely to support eroding his own power. And bitcoin explicitly set out to do that.

Bitcoin emerged in part as a response to the financial crisis; its early adopters were a group of anarchists, libertarians, and others who had been longing for a currency-based way to express their hatred for government institutions. After all, the point was to create an alternative to fiat currency, and to mimic goldbugs’ notions of how currency should work. Cryptocurrency now has a serious following among Silicon Valley VCs.

Maybe that made Mark Zuckerberg jealous? Reportedly, it was Zuckerberg who pushed for Libra, the company’s entrée into the cryptocurrency space. I’m not sure, exactly, what response the people who worked on Libra were expecting, but the reception has mostly been brutal.

No one trusts Facebook, a company that repeatedly disregards privacy concerns, issues meaningless apologies for doing so, then violates them again. Significantly, though, much

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