'Deplorable Coin': Steve Bannon Seeks to Cash-In on Hillary Clinton's Insult

Steve Bannon is getting into cryptocurrency.

The former top White House adviser who was ousted as chief strategist to President Donald Trump just 10 months ago said that he has invested a "good stake" of money in Bitcoin. That stake might be a bit smaller than it used to be, as Bitcoin has fallen to its lowest level in four months and is now down about 40 percent year-to-date.

The Breitbart News founder also said his investment partnership, Bannon & Company, is exploring creating its own cryptocurrency with an initial coin offering, according to a New York Times report.

In a meeting at Harvard University this spring, Bannon floated the idea of creating a "deplorables coin" based off of Hillary Clinton's pet name for Trump supporters—"a basket of deplorables." Bannon told the Times that he has had meetings with a number of cryptocurrency investors and hedge funds to explore the idea.

Bannon said that the world of cryptocurrency gelled well with his political philosophy. "It's disruptive populism," Bannon told the Times. "It takes control back from central authorities. It's revolutionary."

Bannon said that central banks "debase currency" and create a citizenry of "slaves to debt."

"It was pretty obvious to me that unless you got somehow control over your currency, all these political movements were going to be beholden to who controlled the currency," he explained.

Bannon understands that he cuts a controversial figure, and that the notoriety of his name might dampen new projects, so he will likely remain in the shadows as his company embarks on its newest endeavor.

Despite Bitcoin's recent crash, the world of cryptocurrency is flush with cash and there's no shortage of investors looking for the next big coin. Startups raised $5.6 billion through initial coin offerings (ICOs) in 2017, and the 2018 figures have already far surpassed that number with $6.3 billion raised by mid-April. Goldman Sachs recently opened a Bitcoin trading desk and the New York Stock Exchange's parent company is considering creating an official cryptocurrency exchange.

But the world of initial coin offerings is still highly unregulated and often unstable. The lack of legal oversight often attract members of the alt-right who can donate and exchange money without restriction. After the marches in Charlottesville, a number of prominent neo-Nazis had their accounts removed from platforms like Apple Pay and PayPal, and turned to the less-regulated alternative to fund themselves. White nationalist leader Richard Spencer has called Bitcoin the "currency of the alt-right."

A Twitter Bot created by programmer John Bambenek, Neonazi BTC Tracker, tracks the thousands of dollars in Bitcoin being exchanged between white nationalist leaders every day.

Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, attends a debate with Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, at Zofin Palace on May 22, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. Sean Gallup/Getty Images