As the countdown to the 2024 presidential elections hits the one-year mark, we see a vivid spectrum of politicians stepping forward to declare their bids.
We currently have an intriguing mix of ten pivotal figures, with a significant tilt towards Republicans over Democrats, seven to three. Included in this noteworthy group are the familiar faces of President Biden and his predecessor, President Trump.
Though it might seem like an automatic assumption that the narrative of the elections would predominantly revolve around these two political giants, there’s an intriguing subplot unfolding. The pressing matters of crypto regulations, the potential advent of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), and the escalating crisis surrounding the US debt ceiling, present a rare opportunity for crypto-savvy candidates to carve out a spotlight for themselves.
Cryptocurrency: A Cross-Party Catalyst
Cryptocurrency in the US is something of a political chameleon. It crosses party lines with ease.
The existing administration’s approach to crypto regulation has been met with considerable criticism, accused of potentially throttling innovation. Additionally, states like Florida are taking a stand against the possible introduction of a CBDC on their turf.
In a country where nearly one in five individuals holds crypto, it’s undeniable that a candidate’s stance on digital assets can impact the decision of voters. A Grayscale survey conducted the previous year confirms this, revealing that over 38% of possible voters during the US midterm elections took into account candidates’ crypto policies when casting their votes.
Adding fuel to this speculative fire are Bitcoin enthusiasts like Balaji Srinivasan, the former Coinbase CTO, who contemplate a potential financial catastrophe where the US defaults on its sovereign debt. Such a calamity could boost the appeal of traditional currency alternatives, like BTC. Srinivasan speculates that such a scenario could elevate the ownership rights of alternative currencies, like BTC, to a headline political issue.
The Crypto Divide: Candidates and their Stances
In light of this, it’s notable that only six of the ten key presidential candidates have staked out a clear position on cryptocurrencies so far: Joe Biden (D), Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (D), Donald Trump (R), Ron DeSantis (R), Tim Scott (R), and Vivek Ramaswamy (R).
Among these six, Biden and Trump don’t seem to have warmed up to crypto.
Specifically, the Biden administration has recently attempted to levy a 30% tax on the power consumption of Bitcoin miners. Biden has also made his disdain for crypto traders apparent, equating them to “affluent tax evaders” benefiting from tax loopholes.
On the flip side, Trump has expressed his view that cryptocurrencies are a “scam”, with their value being “volatile and ungrounded”. Ironically, he allowed his image to be featured in two NFT collections themed around him just last year.
In stark contrast, candidates like Kennedy Jr, DeSantis, Tim Scott, and Vivek Ramaswamy fall in the pro-crypto camp.
Despite the differences in their political ideologies, Kennedy Jr and DeSantis have both campaigned against CBDCs and have shown support for Bitcoin in the realm of digital assets.
Moreover, Ramaswamy and Kennedy Jr have indicated their readiness to accept BTC as campaign contributions.
Scott, the senator from South Carolina, is on a mission to set up a regulatory framework for digital assets that safeguards consumers and promotes innovation.
Given the current political landscape, analysts believe that among the four crypto-supportive candidates, DeSantis stands the best chance of claiming the presidency.