7 presidential candidates have dropped clues about their crypto stance
There are currently many from the Democratic and Republican parties bidding for the job of president. Here’s what they’ve said about crypto.
In late 2024, citizens of the United States will take to the voting booths to elect their next president — a four-year term that could have a vast impact on the next crypto bull run.
Though polls are set to open on Nov. 5, 2024, dozens of U.S. politicians have already signaled an intention to contest President Joe Biden for the country’s top position.
The current Biden administration appears to have been taking an increasingly anti-crypto stance. Meanwhile, former president Donald Trump is again bidding for the job — setting the stage for a rematch. Others are seeking to carry the Democrat and Republican presidential nominations.
‘No fundamental value’: Joe Biden — Democrat
The current president of the United States, Joe Biden, kicked off his re-election bid on April 25, and is at the moment, the likely favorite for the Democrat’s presidential nominee.
Biden’s attitude toward crypto is possibly best summarized by his 2023 Economic Report of the President which included a section on crypto for the first time since it began in 1950.
The section aimed to debunk the “Perceived Appeal of Crypto Assets.” It argued crypto doesn’t deliver on “touted” benefits and claimed “many of them have no fundamental value.”
Biden has rallied against perceived crypto “tax loopholes” and even opposed a debt ceiling agreement with Republicans as he claimed it protected “wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders.”
His March 2022 executive order culminated with the first framework for crypto. He’s called for a 30% tax on crypto mining electricity usage, doubling capital gains taxes and cracking down on crypto wash sales.
‘Not a fan of Bitcoin’: Donald Trump — Republican
The former president turned NFT salesman Trump threw in his non-consecutive re-election bid on Nov. 15, 2022. According to current polling, he’s the favored Republican nominee.
Trump has said crypto “may be fake” and is “a disaster waiting to happen.” He’s also said Bitcoin (BTC) “just seems like a scam” and didn’t like it “because it is another currency competing against the dollar.”
In July 2019 as president, Trump tweeted he was “not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies” claiming their value was “based on thin air.”
During his presidency, Trump targeted crypto use in financial crimes and purportedly told his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “go after Bitcoin” in a conversation on trade sanctions against China. “Cryptocurrencies” were mentioned in his 2021 budget proposal but only for explaining their use in crimes.
He did, however, mull a capital gains tax cut which could have been favorable to crypto users. Trump administration officials did once tout distributed ledger technology (DLT) as a tech that could benefit government operations and bolster the country’s cybersecurity defenses.
‘Every right to do Bitcoin’: Ron DeSantis — Republican
Ron DeSantis said he would “protect” Bitcoin in his May 24 presidential bid announcement on Twitter. Polls taken before the Florida governor’s announcement have him second favorite to Trump.
During his Twitter Space campaign kick-off, DeSantis said “You have every right to do Bitcoin” and would “protect the ability to do things like Bitcoin.”
He called out Congress, claiming it “never addressed” crypto and said regulators had made it so “that people can not operate in that space.”
His 2022–2023 budget proposal for the state of Florida proposed the government allows businesses to pay state fees with cryptocurrencies.
DeSantis is probably better known as an anti-central bank digital currency (CBDC) figure.
He passed laws in Florida prohibiting the use of a federal CBDC as money and banned the use of foreign CBDCs. He’s also rallied against the Federal Reserve’s FedNow 24/7 instant payments system, claiming it’s a CBDC precursor.
‘Bitcoin should not be regulated as a security’: Vivek Ramaswamy — Republican
Pharmaceutical firm founder Vivek Ramaswamy has also signaled a pro-crypto stance but is considered a long shot for the Republican nomination.
In mid-May, Ramaswamy tweeted “Bitcoin should not be regulated as a security.” At the Bitcoin 2023 conference, he announced he would accept campaign donations in Bitcoin.
At the conference, Ramaswamy reaffirmed Bitcoin should not be considered a security, saying “We need to keep it that way.”
Related: New White House standards strategy could have implications for crypto industry KYC
“Bitcoin is finite in its quantity, there is no issuer. It should never have been treated as a security under the current securities laws,” he said.
‘A major innovation engine’: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — Democrat
Robert F. Kennedy Jr is seen as unlikely to be put forward by the Democrats for president — but he has signaled pro-crypto stances.
Earlier in May he said “crypto technologies are a major innovation engine” and called Bitcoin a “symbol of democracy and freedom” in a speech at the Bitcoin 2023 conference.
He is accepting BTC for campaign donations and was the first presidential candidate to ever do so, beating Ramaswamy by a few days.
Kennedy called Biden’s proposed 30% crypto miner energy tax “a bad idea” and opposes CBDCs as they “vastly magnify the government’s power.” He opposes the Fed’s FedNow system for a similar reason.
The third favorite declared Republican candidate Nikki Haley hasn’t publicly addressed her views on crypto.
Democratic nominee Marianne Willamson hasn’t either but has implied disappointment at the Canadian government blocking crypto wallets during the trucker protests in 2022.
Republican Senator Tim Scott is also a bidder and similarly has no stated crypto policies. He did, however, have plans to develop a crypto “bipartisan regulatory framework.”
He’s been critical of the securities regulator’s handling of FTX and questioned if they’ve been “asleep at the wheel.”
Cointelegraph contacted the campaigns of Haley, Williamson and Scott to clarify their positions on crypto but did not receive a response.
Magazine: Crypto regulation — Does SEC Chair Gary Gensler have the final say?