In a followup to my article yesterday (click here to read it), it only makes sense to look at the other side of the crypto future-present fence politically.
The Republican GOP would be expected to be highly supportive of crypto, being pro-business, industry and entrepreneurship. In reality, the GOP's position has been mixed.
Recognition of Blockchain Technology
The Republican GOP acknowledges the transformative potential of blockchain technology, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies. Recognizing its ability to revolutionize industries such as finance, supply chain management, and healthcare, the party supports fostering innovation and technological advancement in the blockchain space. The GOP recognizes blockchain's ability to enhance security, transparency, and efficiency in various sectors, which aligns with their pro-business and limited-government ideology. However, how much of this support is real now remains to be seen. With the GOP generally in control of Congress, now is their chance to put action to words.
Support for Regulatory Clarity
Regulatory improvement has been one area the GOP has recently been strong in, putting the Congressional pressure on the SEC and Gary Gensler to get their act straight on operating clarity for the crypto industry. Granted, the current stage may very well be an easy chance to bash on the Democratic Administration, it still plays into the traditional pro-business position the GOP has favored for decades versus regulation. The party recognizes the importance of balancing innovation and consumer protection, as well as mitigating potential risks such as money laundering, fraud, and terrorism financing. They advocate for a clear regulatory framework that provides a conducive environment for businesses to thrive while safeguarding the interests of investors and consumers.
Promoting Private-Sector Innovation
The Republican GOP believes in the power of the private sector and the entrepreneurial spirit to drive growth. Again, no big surprise here; this theme is a classic GOP position with big companies and industry. In the context of cryptocurrencies, the party encourages the private sector to lead the way in developing and implementing blockchain-based solutions. The key point expected to be see is the GOP view that the government's role is one of facilitation rather than heavy-handed regulation.
Balancing Privacy and Security
The balance between national security and privacy, however, is area where the GOP has stumbled. Much of the problem has to do with a conflicting position between supporting law enforcement, who many times would be fine with a big government police state spying on everything, and the need to protect privacy and both business and consumer confidentiality. These are two areas the GOP supports heavily but are now, in the digital age, very much opposed to each other. While safeguarding individual privacy rights, the party recognizes the importance of implementing mechanisms to prevent criminal activities and ensure compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations.
The GOP supports measures that encourage domestic blockchain development (most evident in Wyoming and Florida), protect intellectual property, and foster collaboration between the private sector and government agencies to ensure the United States maintains its technological edge. However, the GOP has yet to push anything substantive that opens new markets. The silence from the GOP with regards to protecting major crypto players based in the U.S. has so far been deafening. On the one hand, much of the reason may simply be that GOP just can't get their heads around the concept of crypto and what it offers, thinking the whole issue is just another tech fad, on the other hand, they have plenty of staff who are versed in tech to advise them, but the matter simply isn't high on their agenda. Looking for ways to generate press, Internet forum buzz, cutting taxes and embarrass the current Administration seem to be a higher priority. It's a missed opportunity with crypto which is causing a lot of collateral damage as a result.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the GOP's position on cryptocurrencies is likely to adapt in response to emerging challenges and opportunities, especially as older members retire and those more familiar with the industry take over. However, that's probably not going to be very visible until another 5 years have gone by, especially not until the GOP are back in the White House setting executive policy again.
And if the crypto approach is summed up by silly, poorly-copied NFTs for campaign fundraising, we can pretty much kiss American crypto growth goodbye for a decade.