Former White House Chief Strategist and fallen-from-grace Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon is ‘[buying] into Bitcoin,’ according to a report by the New York Times on June 14.
It seems that Bannon is drawn to crypto the same way he may have originally been drawn to the Trump campaign: “It’s disruptive populism,” he told the Times. “It takes control back from central authorities. It’s revolutionary.”
The Times said that although Bannon has attended ‘private meetings’ with cryptocurrency hedge funds and investors, he is hesitant to release specific details of his prospective ventures publicly. After his rather ugly ‘breakup’ with both Breitbart and the Trump administration, Bannon is concerned his name could damage projects which are just starting out.
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In any case, Bannon claimed that he has a ‘good stake’ in Bitcoin and that he is looking into working on ICOs through Bannon & Company, his investment business. Bannon also (perhaps half-jokingly) allegedly proposed the creation of the ‘deplorables coin’ at a small meeting of Harvard academics earlier this year.
Most of the projects that Bannon is allegedly eyeing are based outside of the United States.
Is the Cryptosphere Bannon’s New Home?
It’s not exactly shocking to find Steve Bannon mixed up in the cryptosphere. Although cryptocurrency and blockchain are becoming increasingly popular on Wall Street, Bitcoin was (arguably) little more than ‘Magic Internet Money,’ a bastion of libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism (not to mention a tool for buying illegal services and substances.)
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have also long been closely associated with forums like 4Chan (which has played an integral role in the development of the ‘alt-right) and alt-right, neo-Nazi propaganda sites like the now-defunct Daily Stormer.
“Cryptocurrencies have many of the characteristics that drew [Bannon] into Tea Party politics,” said the Times. “They break old rules, they exist on the periphery and they pose a challenge to the powerful figures and institutions that have long called the shots.”
Bannon no longer has the kind pop-cultural or political sway that he once did. His Capitol Hill townhouse, once affectionately known as the Breitbart Embassy, is a bit quieter these days. However, if the toxicity of Bannon’s name doesn’t destroy whatever it touches, Steve could stand to make a comeback.