The 2024 U.S. presidential election is approaching and many politicians have already announced their intentions to compete for the country's top job. The outcome of this election could have a major impact on the future of cryptocurrencies, an industry that has grown exponentially in recent years and has generated both excitement and controversy.
What do Uncle Sam's candidates think about cryptocurrencies? Are they supporters or detractors of this new form of digital money? What measures would they take to regulate or encourage their use? These are some of the questions many voters may be asking themselves when it comes to choosing their next leader.
Here is a brief summary of where seven presidential candidates, four Democrats and three Republicans, stand on cryptocurrencies.
Joe Biden - Democrat
Incumbent U.S. President Joe Biden launched his re-election bid on April 25 and is at the moment the likely frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Biden's attitude toward cryptocurrencies is possibly best summed up in his Economic Report of the President 2023, which included a section on cryptocurrencies for the first time since it began in 1950. The section sought to debunk the "Perceived Attractiveness of Cryptoassets." It argued that cryptocurrencies do not offer the "advertised" benefits and claimed that "many of them lack fundamental value".
Biden has spoken out against the alleged "tax loopholes" of cryptocurrencies and even opposed a debt ceiling deal with Republicans as he claimed it protected "wealthy tax cheats and cryptocurrency traders"¹. His March 2022 executive order culminated in the first framework for cryptocurrencies. He has called for a 30% tax on electricity use in cryptocurrency mining, doubling capital gains taxes, and cracking down on crypto laundering sales.
Donald Trump - Republican
Former president turned NFT seller Trump launched his non-consecutive re-election bid on November 15, 2022. According to current polls, he is the favored Republican candidate. Trump has said that cryptocurrencies "may be fake" and are "a disaster waiting to happen". He has also said that Bitcoin ( BTC) "just looks like a scam" and that he did not like it "because it's another currency competing against the dollar".
In July 2019 as president, Trump tweeted that he was "not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies" claiming that their value was "based on air". During his presidency, Trump focused on the use of crypto in financial crimes and reportedly told his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to "go after Bitcoin" in a conversation about trade sanctions against China.
Ron DeSantis - Republican
Ron DeSantis said he would "protect" Bitcoin in his May 24 presidential candidacy announcement on Twitter. Polls place him as the second favorite among Republicans after Trump. DeSantis is the current governor of Florida, a state that has become a hub for cryptocurrency companies and innovators.
DeSantis has supported the adoption of Bitcoin as a legal currency in Florida, following the example of El Salvador. He has also proposed creating a dedicated state office to oversee and regulate cryptocurrencies. In addition, he has appointed several cryptocurrency advocates to key positions in his administration, including CFO Jimmy Patronis and the Department's executive director.
Elizabeth Warren - Democrat
Elizabeth Warren announced her presidential candidacy on December 31, 2022. She is one of Biden's main rivals within the Democratic party. Warren is a senator for Massachusetts and a well-known critic of Wall Street and large corporations. She has also expressed skepticism about cryptocurrencies, which she has called "counterfeit currencies" and "speculative assets."
Warren has advocated for greater regulation of cryptocurrencies, especially with regard to consumer protection, money laundering prevention and environmental impact mitigation. She has called on the Treasury secretary to use her authority to combat cryptocurrency risks and has proposed legislation to prohibit banks from offering cryptocurrency-related services.
Ted Cruz - Republican
Ted Cruz launched his presidential candidacy on June 4, 2022. He is the third most popular Republican candidate according to polls. Cruz is a senator for Texas and an advocate of conservative and Christian values. He has also come out in favor of cryptocurrencies, which he has praised for their potential to drive innovation and financial freedom.
Cruz has supported the adoption of Bitcoin as a legal currency in Texas, following the example of El Salvador. He has also criticized Biden's proposal to increase capital gains taxes and has defended the right of Americans to own and use cryptocurrencies without government interference. In addition, he has participated in several events and podcasts related to cryptocurrencies, showing his interest and knowledge on the subject.
Kamala Harris - Democrat
Kamala Harris announced her presidential candidacy on January 21, 2023. She is the current Vice President of the United States and a possible contender for the Democratic nomination if Biden decides not to run. Harris is a former California attorney general and an advocate for civil rights and minorities. Her stance on cryptocurrencies is ambiguous, as she has not made public statements on the matter, but she has shown some openness to the industry.
Harris has received donations from several executives and companies in the crypto sector, such as Coinbase, Ripple and Blockchain Capital. She has also hired several advisors with cryptocurrency experience, such as Gene Sperling, former economic advisor to President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the National Security Agency.
Rand Paul - Republican
Rand Paul announced his presidential candidacy on April 7, 2022. He is the fourth most popular Republican candidate according to polls. Paul is a senator from Kentucky and an advocate of libertarianism and the Tea Party movement. He is also a supporter of cryptocurrencies, which he has viewed as a viable alternative to the dollar and a way to hedge against inflation.
Paul has accepted Bitcoin donations for his presidential campaign since 2015, the first candidate to do so. He has also criticized the Federal Reserve's expansionary monetary policy and has advocated for greater competition among currencies. In addition, he has expressed support for technological innovation and has called for minimal regulation for cryptocurrencies.
The 2024 U.S. presidential election could mark a turning point for the future of cryptocurrencies in the country and the world. The candidates have very different views on the role and potential of this new form of digital money, reflecting their ideologies and their political and economic interests.
The Democratic candidates, led by Joe Biden, are more skeptical and critical of cryptocurrencies, and advocate greater regulation and oversight to protect consumers, prevent money laundering and mitigate environmental impact. Republican candidates, led by Donald Trump, are more favorable and enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies, advocating their adoption as a legal currency, their right to own and use them without government interference, and their ability to drive innovation and financial freedom.
The outcome of this election could have significant consequences for the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies in the United States, which is one of the most important and influential markets in the sector. It could also affect the United States' position as a global leader in monetary and financial policy, and its relationship with other countries that have adopted or rejected cryptocurrencies.
The future of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the United States will depend largely on the political will and strategic vision of the candidates vying for the White House. Therefore, voters should be informed and aware of the implications of their choice for this emerging and disruptive industry.
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Author's Note: The opinion expressed here is not investment advice, is provided for informational purposes only, and reflects the opinion of the author only. I do not promote, endorse or recommend any particular investment. Investments may not be right for everyone. Every investment in the market and every trade you make involves risk, so you should always do your own research before making any decision. I do not recommend investing money that you cannot afford to chair, as you could lose the entire amount invested.
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