The Matt Hancock comeback tour continues at pace. After the mothballed memoir, the Serpentine stunt and the UN embarrassment, you might think that the Casanova of the Commons has run out of ideas for retrospective rehabilitation. Far from it: alongside doing endless media rounds to defend Boris Johnson’s latest blunder, Hancock has reinvented himself as a champion of crypto-currencies. Just the kind of flag bearer that the scandal-riddled industry needs.
The backbencher tweeted a video yesterday, giving a speech to the London Crypto Club. Declaring that, ‘the mass market is a force for good,’ Hancock eulogised such currencies by proclaiming: ‘if we get the regulation right crypto will not only accelerate growth but make financial systems more transparent and reduce crime.’ Unfortunately, not all of his Twitter followers agreed: one unkindly commentator suggested that the burning log backdrop looked as though he was entering the flames of hell.
In fairness to Hancock, his interest in tech nothing new: this is the MP who launched his own eponymous app as Culture Secretary. And far from letting the haters get him down, the lockdown-loving legislator has only doubled down on crypto, making the case for such currencies in an interview with today’s Express. He also met last month with Changpeng Zhao, the boss of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
Zhao shared a pic of the pair grinning together in Westminster Hall, with Hancock wearing the now-familiar black neck turtleneck first debuted at the Jingle Bell Ball. The Binance founder lauded the West Suffolk backbencher as an ‘expert in crypto,’ extolling his ‘forward thinking mindset’ and proclaiming that it was ‘great to see him pushing crypto adoption.’ Zhao of course has refused to ban Russian users from Binance – despite fears that Russian oligarchs may be using cryptocurrency to evade international sanctions.
Once, disgraced ministers scrubbed toilets in the East End: now providing similar services for crypto bros seems sufficient.