How Trump Helped Push Bitcoin to Record Highs (It’s Not for Good Reasons)

Unpredictable U.S. leadership drives growing demand for cryptocurrency, investment expert tells TheWrap

Last Updated: September 1, 2017 @ 10:06 AM

The “Summer of Bitcoin” continues to roll on, with the biggest cryptocurrency darting up by nearly 80 percent over the past 30 days to touch record highs of $4,800 per bitcoin on Friday.

And investors have one man to thank for bitcoin’s remarkable run: President Donald Trump. So said Ross Gerber, President and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, who spoke with TheWrap.

“There’s no basis for the value of bitcoin, other than uncertainty about our future,” said Gerber. “That’s why Bitcoin has gone up so much — because of Trump. The U.S. system has never been more at more risk to damage, and that’s why Bitcoin has been successful so far.”

Well, that’s reassuring. But it also makes sense. As the commander-in-chief flirts with nuclear war with North Korea, speculators have more reason to worry about the long-term strength of the U.S. dollar. This hasn’t derailed Wall Street from raking in cash under Trump, but it has also made cryptocurrencies appealing to investors.  As Gerber puts it, bitcoin speculators look at it the same way old school investors look at gold — a safe way to store value during rocky economic times.

Money is only as good as the government backing it up, according to experts, but that’s not a factor with bitcoin. Its strength relies on its algorithm and blockchain technology — the immutable ledger serving as the foundation for all bitcoin transactions. (If you’re still wondering what the hell bitcoin even is, we have you covered right here.)

There have been other factors behind bitcoin’s summer rush. A software update helped increase the speed of transactions, and it is becoming increasingly accepted across the globe as a valid form of payment. Bitcoin was deemed legal in Japan — the world’s third largest economy — back in May.

Gerber also pointed to bitcoin’s scarcity as another attractive feature. Only 21 million bitcoin will ever be in circulation, with about 16.5 million available right now.

“The thing that makes bitcoin interesting to me is the fact that it’s not inflationary,” said Gerber.  “There are only so many bitcoins that are going to be made. And because it’s widely adopted now, I think it’s pretty much here to stay.”

Gerber told TheWrap he owns bitcoin, but with its price rocketing from $2,672 to $4,840 since the first day of summer, he’s taken some money off the table.

“I think it’s a bubble, and I’ve made a lot of money for what I consider no reason at all,” said Gerber. “And I’m no idiot, so I’ve taken all my profits.”