By Weston Blasi
That was Sen. Rand Paul in a recent interview with Axios discussing the future of cryptocurrency in the U.S.
The Republican from Kentucky cited a lack of trust in government as the reason more people may turn to cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD -1.12% , ethereum /zigman2/quotes/108573964/realtime ETHUSD -0.19% and other cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the U.S. government and, unlike the dollar /zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed DXY +0.21% , are not backed by the U.S. central bank.
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It’s not clear whether there is a connection between Americans’ trust in government and their interest in cryptocurrency, as Paul claims, but views of local and state government are near record lows, according to a recent Gallup survey . And just 39% of people trust the federal government, according to the same survey.
This is not the first time Paul has touted cryptocurrency — during his bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, Paul’s campaign accepted donations in bitcoin , in addition to donations in U.S. dollars.
In 2014, Paul said he would be more bullish on crypto if it were backed by stocks .
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As crypto trading becomes more popular, companies are trying to capitalize on rising interest — Walmart /zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite WMT +1.51% has begun allowing shoppers to buy bitcoin at in-person kiosks , and Mastercard /zigman2/quotes/207581792/composite MA +0.60% is set to announce bitcoin applications for banks and merchants, including wallets and bitcoin credit cards .
Bitcoin prices reached nearly $67,000 last week, a new high. The record came a day after the debut of the first bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF /zigman2/quotes/230440344/composite BITO -6.61% .
Earlier in 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal currency . El Salvador also uses the U.S. dollar as legal tender.