The Second Day of the North American Blockchain Summit took place with much fanfare. Delegates were queuing well before the 9.30am start, many of them to hear what Vivek Ramaswamy, Republican Presidential Candidate had to say about crypto and digital assets. They were not disappointed.
Lee Bratcher, President of the Texas Blockchain Council, and the main organizer of the North American Blockchain Summit opened proceedings. This was followed by a rendition of the American National Anthem, to which the audience stood up with pride. Many of them wearing cowboy hats and cowboy boots as befits a setting like the Fort Worth Convention Centre.
Then came the moment. And came the man. Vivek Ramaswamy is one of the youngest ever Presidential Candidates at 38. He is also a best-selling author and a successful entrepreneur who prides himself on taking on the status quo and facing bureaucracy.
Vivek Ramaswamy on how the Founding Fathers believed in Decentralization
Vivek didn’t mince his words. As soon as he stood up in front of the hundreds of delegates, he outlined his policies. The Republican Presidential Candidate believes that we are at a fork in the road. Following on from conversations with policymakers and people across the digital assets space, he shared what he has learned with the audience.
“I began wondering whether the hostility towards cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance begins with a lack of knowledge in Washington DC,” Vivek explained. “But my assumption was false. The real danger comes from the people who do understand what you [people in the digital assets space] do. They are hostile to the sector’s existence because it is a threat to the prevailing status quo in Washington DC.”
Vivek harked back to the Founding Fathers, who he feels would be turning in their graves if they really knew what was happening in the U.S. today. He added how the Founding Fathers set into motion in the U.S. Constitution a vision that power whenever possible should be decentralized from the federal government.
Vivek then shared how important a case he feels that the 2022 West Virginia vs. EPA ruling by the Supreme Court was. He explained how the ruling stated that certain regulations implemented by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) were unconstitutional because Congress never gave the EPA that authority. This, Vivek believes, is a landmark decision for the digital assets space too.
“Arguably, all of the regulations being used to classify cryptocurrencies as security or otherwise are incorrect,” Vivek explained pointing to the landmark court case. And with that in mind he moved swiftly on to his own policies. The audience responded with appreciation.
Vivek Ramaswamy unveils the Core Pillars of his Cryptocurrency Policy
“First is the freedom to code,” Vivek highlighted. “I believe that code is a form of speech and is protected by the First Amendment. You can’t go after the developers of code. What you actually need to implement is going after individual bad actors.”
“Number two. Freedom for financial self-reliance,” Vivek continued. “In my view the Bank Secrecy Act, and many elements of it today are unconstitutional. And they’re unconstitutional because they proceed from what’s called the third-party doctrine.” He used 911 and the Patriot Act to show how wiretapping can sometimes be justified in its use by the government. Something that Vivek believes is a bastardization of the U.S. Constitution. He hailed the Supreme Court for bringing that doctrine into question over recent years.
Vivek believes that KYC and AML regulations affecting digital assets are affected by the same third-party doctrine. Something that he will end on his watch, unchoking the digital assets sector. He believes that the Founding Fathers would never have intruded into private financial transactions, like we are seeing today.
“I think we deserve a class of political leadership that once again stands for what our Founding Fathers would have stood for,” Vivek summarized, to another warm response from the audience.
“That brings me to number three, the freedom to innovate without regulatory overreach,” Vivek continued. “This is where West Virginia vs. EPA comes back on day one as your next president. I will rescind ANY unconstitutional regulation that fails the Supreme Court’s test in West Virginia vs EPA.”
This will include most, if not all, of the SEC’s regulations as it applies to crypto, Vivek highlighted without any remorse.
What do Vivek’s policies mean for U.S. voters?
“Americans are naturally a freedom loving people,” Vivek continued. “We’re never going to agree to that type of legal constraint through the ‘front door’ [or through Congress]. So, what you have is the Gary Gensler’s of the world implementing these constraints through the back door without any backstop of political accountability.”
Vivek believes Americans need a President who understands the gifts that the Supreme Court are giving and uses them for the benefit of the people. If he becomes President, he promises to stand down from enforcing any regulation that fails the test set by the Supreme Court in the West Virgina vs. EPA case.
“If that means the enforcement division or the SEC is not going to have a lot more to do, that’s fine,” Vivek highlighted. He also wants to dramatically reduce the number of federal bureaucrats involved in enforcing regulation.
But its not just the SEC that will be affected by Vivek’s policies.
“We were born as the pioneers, the explorers, the unafraid, the people who would not be stopped by somebody telling us what we can and cannot achieve,” Vivek highlighted. “That is the American way. And I think we’re going to have to restore that founding spirit in our country.”
Vivek has also called for a 90% headcount reduction at the U.S. Federal Reserve. An institution which has a total staff of well over 20,000 today.
Speaking to the members of the audience from his age group. Vivek concluded by explaining how “we are lost. We are hungry for purpose and meaning at a time in our national history when the things that used to fill that void, patriotism, hard work, family aspiration, self-confidence. These things have disappeared. And poison has filled the void.”
Vivek wants a return to what he feels is one of the things that binds Americans together. The shared pursuit of excellence.
His words hit home to the audience. Many of the influencers in the audience were openly bullish on Vivek. But, outside of the digital assets sector, will his words also have the same impact?
Author: Andy Samu