Donald Trump is Considering a Bitcoin Entrepreneur to Lead the FDA
Maybe Balaji Srinivasan, founder of Bitcoin startup 21.co, will become the leader of the US agency for the supervision of food and drugs. In general, you will find surprisingly many Bitcoin fans in the team of the US President Donald Trump.
On a certain level success ceases to be the condition for further success. As many super managers do not need to demonstrate success to be appointed to the top of another company, so does a serial entrepreneur like Balaji Srinivasan not need to show progress to qualify himself for higher professions.
On January 13, the US President Donald Trump announced that the founder and CEO of the Bitcoin company 21.co maybe would become the leader of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency is responsible for the control and supervision of any product related to public health, mainly food and medicine.
Crucial for Srinivasan’s appointment might not be the success of his Bitcoin company 21.co. After he had raised $116 million, the highest investment a Bitcoin company ever received, for his plan, to bring a mining-chip in every gadget, he was never able to meet the huge expectation.
The only hardware product his company ever created, the 21 Bitcoin computer, is not much more than a very expensive Raspberry Pi, whose implemented mining chip does usually not even pay for the energy costs. The platform, by which 21.co wants to facilitate the trade of micro-services of computers against Bitcoin, stagnates; the software, to buy and sell the services, remains alpha or beta; and the blog of the company is silent since June last year. The revolution Srinivasan promised in flowery words has not become true by now, and maybe the sluggish progress is the reason why he applies for a new job that has nothing to do with Bitcoin.
For the task as leader of the FDA, Srinivasan is qualified by former enterprises and a genuine political attitude. Before 21.co he founded and led the biotech company Counsyl and developed a test, with which it can be examined during pregnancy if the unborn child will suffer from Down Syndrome or other severe genetically caused disease. Furthermore, Srinivasan is known for his libertarian attitude he preferably expresses through a medium the president seems to like: Twitter.
Shortly after the nomination, however, Srinivasan deleted all his former tweets. But many of them can be accessed on archive.is; the magazine Gizmodo quote some of them to show that Srinivasan considers the agency mostly as an obstacle to innovation.
Srinivasan is not the first pro-Bitcoin persona Trump nominates for higher positions. Earlier Peter Thiel joined Trumps “Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee.” The founder of PayPal, billionaire, and tech-investor spent one million dollars for Trump’s campaign. According to him, with creating a new, free currency, Bitcoin achieved something PayPal failed to deliver. He ascribes Bitcoin the potential to change the world, and he invested several million in the Bitcoin payment processor BitPay and – attention please: Balaji Srinivasan’s 21.co.
Maybe the most open Bitcoin fan around Trump, however, is his announced post for the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney. The Republican has praised that Bitcoin cannot be manipulated by the government, and he founded “Bitcoin Caucus” with Jared Polis, an initiative to raise awareness about Bitcoin in Washington. After he and Polis had co-operated for two years with Jerry Brito’s lobby group Coin Center, the latter attributed Mulvaney as a “forward-thinking leadership on blockchain technology” which is “unmatched” in Congress. Beside Bitcoin, Mulvaney said that the Blockchain has the potential, “to revolutionize the financial services industry, the U.S. economy, and the delivery of government services.”
On top of this Trump engaged the tech-entrepreneurs Elon Musk (Tesla), Travis Kalanick (Uber), and Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo) as strategic consultants. While they are not explicitly fans, they seem to be open toward Bitcoin and recognize the potential of Blockchain technology. While it remains an open question, if Trump will be a good president for the USA, and if Srinivasan will be a good leader of the FSA, it seems to become more and more apparent, that President Trump will be no disaster for Bitcoin and the Blockchain.