Reinvention king Matt Hancock revealed his new found love of cryptocurrencies as “a force for good in the world” in a toe-curling promo over giant video of a fire.
The former health secretary, 43, left his now familiar non-MP outfit at home for the occasion, consisting of jeans and a black turtleneck top, instead of donning a suit and a tie.
But Mr Hancock – who was caught cheating on his wife with his assistant Gina Coladangelo – sparked ridicule with the footage posted to his Twitter feed.
Some remarked that the seedy environment and fake fire made it look like he was stepping into the fires of hell.
While another joked ‘Matt Hancock probably thinks Crypto is Superman’s dog’.
Mr Hancock’s crypto chat was addressed to Crypto Club Global, which launched similar events four months ago.
He told the guests, who could only be seen in the shadows, that: “Cryptocurrencies are a force for good in the world. Bad people will use all kinds of currencies and have done so since currencies were invented.
“That’s also true for cryptocurrencies. But the advantage of a blockchain-based currency is that if you get the regulatory element right, you get more transparency, not less, and the FBI recently proven in the US, which was excellent.
As Health Secretary, Mr Hancock was one of the tough faces of Britain’s response to the pandemic
Mr Hancock has been compared to the Milk Tray Man for his black turtleneck outfits
Online critics ridiculed Mr Hancock’s encryption drive and questioned his expertise in the field
“So when it comes to things like sanctions, you can see the flow of money.
“And of course there are dark corners that make it more difficult, but the mass market is a force for good, and so, there is a need to make that point.”
The video surprised many, including some critics, who denounced Mr Hancock’s digital credentials.
One opined ‘Looks like he’s speaking from the pits of hell’, while another asked ‘Who knew it would be Matt Hancock singlehandedly giving back crypto? so uncool that he saved mankind”.
Mr Hancock’s foray into digital currency comes just days after Rishi Sunak announced an HM Treasury NFT.
But a friend of the MP suggested that his interest in technology was not as surprising as it first appears.
They added: “Matt was an economist at the Bank of England and it’s all about innovation and finance.”
“He’s also had a long-standing interest in technology, so to say it’s a new thing for him just isn’t true.”
Mr Hancock’s crypto push follows many different activities and searches for the former minister.
Since the end of his term as Minister of Health, Mr Hancock seems to have adopted casual clothes and more offbeat activities.
In February, speaking to The Diary of a CEO podcast, he said he “fell in love” with Coladangelo after bringing her to work with him.
Matt Hancock filmed having a passionate clinch outside his Whitehall office with help from Gina Coladangelo
Matt Hancock finds himself in cold water as he enjoys London’s Serpentine after a race
Culture Secretary Matt Hancock once posted a video of him trying out parkour by jumping off concrete blocks
Mr Hancock is also a great runner and has shown an unusual attitude in overcoming low fencing.
He told Dragons’ Den podcast host, entrepreneur and investor Steven Bartlett: “It actually happened after the rules were lifted, but the guidelines were still in place.” I quit because I violated social distancing guidelines at the time.
“They weren’t really rules. They weren’t the law. But that’s not the point.
“The thing is, these were the guidelines that I had proposed. And it happened because I fell in love with someone.
A month earlier he had been seen after taking off the nappies for a dip in Hyde Park’s icy Serpentine Lake at 7.45am.
But he was always eager to get involved in new activities.
In 2020, he was seen trying his hand at parkour – where participants try to get from point A to point B as smoothly as possible – while he was culture secretary.
And he also demonstrated his love of music in a historic Tweet.
He posted: “Ed Sheeran has been amazing for the music industry this year and the whole album is fantastic but ‘Galway Girl’ is probably my favorite song.”
Former Chancellor George Osborne once said of him, “Sometimes people say Matt is too Tigger, too much like Tigger in Winnie-The-Pooh.
“Frankly, it’s all about his youth, his energy and his enthusiasm, and in a political system full of Eeyore, we could do with a few more Tigers.”