From alternative Covid treatments to failed social networks to the “Freedom Phone”. There’s no shortage of strange products and platforms being marketed to die hard supporters of former President Donald Trump, especially in the US. This offering is now joined by a new entry.
It comes in the form of a cryptocurrency that is now also being promoted by Trump’s former advisor and campaign chief Steve Bannon.
The coin bears the abbreviation “FJB”, which stands for “FJB” and thus also as a message to Trump’s Democratic successor. Unsurprisingly, people are already warning about the project.
Bannon and Boris Epshteyn, also a one-time adviser to Trump, have taken a “strategic ownership position.” Originally launched as the “Let’s Go Brandon Coin” (a phrase that, as a meme, has the same meaning as “FJB”), the cryptocurrency is described as “the coin that fights for America” and will become the currency of the “Make America Great Again” (Maga) movement.
Bannon promises that with the crypto coin, users can become completely independent of the state and the traditional financial system, and one can protect oneself against being “disappeared” by a repressive regime.
However, transactions will pay 8% in fees to the network for this, which will be put into marketing as well as unnamed charitable organizations.
“Give voice to your feelings, your innermost rejection, your innermost disgust with Biden,” Epshteyn touts the invention.
All Power to the Operators
Unsurprisingly, there is already criticism of the FJB coin from expert investors on Bitsgap, unrelated to its political orientation.
The network gives its operators an unusual amount of power. While many systems of this type have automatic mechanisms to prevent the sale of extremely large quantities of coins or tokens, here there is a manual mechanism.
Operators can, at their own discretion, prevent users of their choice from selling their Coins. However, this restriction does not apply to the responsible parties themselves; their accounts cannot be blocked. The analysis was confirmed anonymously by another expert.
As a result, various enrichment and fraud scenarios are conceivable. The mechanism could be used, for example, to block investors from selling their coins in the event of an imminent price drop, while the operators sell off their coins and thus potentially further boost the loss in value.
Practically, this means that the coins are not under the full control of the wallet owners at all, and there have already been some reports of FJB owners who suddenly could no longer make sales.
It is not the first controversial project now linked to Steve Bannon. The far-right leader made headlines with, among other things, a fundraising campaign to finance Trump’s failed wall project on the border with Mexico.
While he suggested that the grants would go directly to building the wall, the fine print already stated that the funds could go to Trump’s political PR.
Of the roughly $25 million, about a million reportedly ended up directly with Bannon, at least some of which he used for private spending.
In August 2020, these events led to a fraud indictment against Bannon as well as three others involved by the Justice Department. That followed a presidential pardon issued by Trump on his last day in office in January 2021.
Last May, federal judge Analisa Torres also suspended the proceedings on the basis of this pardon but stated that she nevertheless considered Bannon guilty as charged on the basis of the evidence.