As election season approaches in the United States, candidates are always searching for the most important topics to attract attention and hopefully draw votes. As concerns about the debt limit and other economic problems loom, will alternative assets like Bitcoin make it into the political landscape on the presidential stage?
Perhaps surprisingly, the odds look pretty strong. Republican, pro-Bitcoin presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has already bet big on Bitcoin. In one CBS News Interview, Ramaswamy explained how a “thriving Bitcoin universe” would help empower some of his policy objectives, which include Dollar stabilization and putting the Federal Reserve ‘back in its place.’
Digital assets have also captured the attention of current Florida Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, who promised to “protect the ability to do things like Bitcoin.” In a Twitter space with Elon Musk and venture capitalist David Sacks, DeSantis explained how he saw crypto as a civil liberties question and noted that the “current regime, clearly, has it out for Bitcoin.”
How Educated Should Candidates
Be On Bitcoin?
Many found DeSantis’ remarks encouraging, especially from a candidate regarded as a serious potential option for the Republican nomination for the 2024 election. Others, like Ramaswamy, are not convinced.
The biotech entrepreneur sounded off in an interview about how he understood Bitcoin in a much deeper way than DeSantis and questioned whether the governor had enough knowledge to discuss Bitcoin on the debate stage intelligently.
“Even the way he said that, ‘Do things like bitcoin.’ When we think about the leader we want in the White House, that needs to be somebody who understands the ‘why,” Ramaswamy explained to CoinDesk in an interview.
So far, Bitcoin remains a bipartisan talking point as the race toward the 2024 election starts to heat up. Democratic candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr. delivered the Bitcoin 2023 conference keynote address and outlined a comprehensive agenda for the digital asset. Kennedy explained how he would halt Bitcoin from being regulated as a security, defend the crypto’s self-custody, and consider pardoning jailed Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht.
In an interview with Rob Nelson of TheStreet Crypto, Kennedy championed Bitcoin as “kind of the perfect currency – it has an intrinsic value, and it gives people a way out.’ He also expressed a desire to see the SEC made up of commissioners who are not anti-crypto and recommended, “we should have people on there who are from the crypto community.”
At the same conference, another former pro-Bitcoin Presidential candidate also made waves talking about crypto. Tulsi Gabbard underscored how those in power were disinterested or combative against Bitcoin since the digital asset cannot be controlled by a third party.
What's Bitcoin's Staying Power As A Talking Point?
As of late May 2023, incumbent President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, both 2024 candidates, have not made any recent statements regarding Bitcoin. But their track records suggest both might be wary of financial innovation. For example, the 2023 Economic Report of the President included a section on cryptocurrency, which explained that the tool does not deliver on “touted benefits,” and argued that many coins have “no fundamental value.” In 2019, Trump Tweeted that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were “not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.”
Reportedly, President Trump also ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “go after Bitcoin” in a conversation regarding Chinese trade sanctions. Do Ramaswamy, Kennedy Jr., and DeSantis’s comments suggest Bitcoin will be a big talking point among pro-Bitcoin presidential candidates? Some, like former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, see Bitcoin significantly influencing the 2024 election due to sustained economic turmoil and looming debt questions.
It’s undoubtedly clear that Bitcoin will get more airtime in 2024 than in prior presidential elections, even more so if presumptive party front-runners Biden and Trump start talking about it.
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