Both Robert F. Kennedy Jr and Ron DeSantis are vocal proponents of the autonomy Bitcoin affords.
Bipartisan conflict has gripped US politics this week as lawmakers struggle to reach a deal to avoid a debt default on June 1. Candidates for the 2024 presidential election however appear to show a more united front in at least one aspect: Bitcoin can stay.
Over the past year, the Biden administration has taken an aggressive approach to crypto, driving major players out of the US market. Earlier this week, the President refused to accept a deal that would benefit ‘crypto-traders’ and ‘tax cheats’, and US regulators have consistently refused to regulate DeFi systems, arguing they should simply comply with existing securities laws.
2024 presidential candidates are leaning more in favour of cryptocurrency than previous governments.
Speaking at the 2024 Bitcoin Conference in Miami last week, Democrat candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr (nephew of former President Kennedy), defended Bitcoin, describing it as a defence against government repression and surveillance.
He boldly pronounced: “As President, I will make sure that your right to hold and use Bitcoin is inviolable, I will defend the right of self-custody.”
A defining moment in Kennedy’s pro-Bitcoin approach came in 2022 when Canadian officials used data tracking systems to freeze the bank accounts of truckers who were protesting Covid rules.
“When I witnessed this cataclysm,” Kennedy said, “this devastating use of government repression, I realised for the first time how free money is as important a freedom as free expression.”
Ron DeSantis, a Republican presidential candidate and Trump’s most legitimate challenger, expressed similar views last night in a Twitter space with Elon Musk.
“You have every right to do Bitcoin,” DeSantis said. “The only reason these people in Washington don’t like it is because they don’t control it.”
DeSantis, who is also Governor of Florida, accused the government of “trying to regulate crypto] out of existence”, warning that if the current pace continues, they’ll “probably end up killing it.”
A red line for both candidates is CBDCs.
Like Kennedy, DeSantis sees the benefit of decentralised cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin but opposes central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
A CBDC is a digital form of national currency that’s issued and regulated by a country’s central bank. They digitally represent a country’s fiat currency. CBDCs typically rely on distributed ledger technologies such as a blockchain, but they are not the same as cryptocurrencies.
Major credit card companies have attempted to monitor the transactions of firearm retailers and consumers through unique merchant codes, which could then be used to “flag” law-abiding citizens. The legislation I signed today will end this practice and will protect Floridians. pic.twitter.com/R8YwAcw9Gt— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 12, 2023
Cryptocurrencies are issued by decentralised, independent networks, while CBDCs are issued and owned by a central bank or government reserve.
Earlier this month, DeSantis signed legislation banning the use of CBDCs in the state of Florida, touting them as “big brother’s digital dollar”.
He went as far as arguing that a CBDC could provoke a huge transfer of power from individual consumers to a central authority.
After a year of regulatory misery in the US, pro-crypto presidential candidates are a refreshing market force.
Disclaimer: CryptoPlug does not recommend that any cryptocurrency should be bought, sold, or held by you. Do conduct your own due diligence and consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.