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US Elections: What Are The Candidates Saying About Crypto?


When Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, said “the 2024 elections will be the most consequential in the history of crypto,” it wasn’t a prophecy. It was an educated prediction as precedences had already been set. 

After some crypto behemoth companies, like BlockFi and FTX, collapsed, the Biden regime cracked down on other giants with various lawsuits and stringent compliance regulations. These actions spread some concern across the Web3 ecosystem. 

Now as the election approaches, we see different tactics from various players who are interested in the elections. We want to examine these developments and make an educated guess on what the future holds for crypto in the US post-election.

Heavy Politicking From Major Presidential Candidates

Former President Donald Trump once said “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” in 2019. “Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.” 

Recently, he has dramatically shifted his stance on cryptocurrencies, embracing them after previously criticizing them. This change aims to attract young crypto enthusiasts and wealthy industry executives, to have an edge against rivals Joe Biden and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 

He began softening his stance in March 2024, recognizing crypto’s inevitability. By May, Trump fully supported cryptocurrencies, promising to oppose Biden’s regulatory efforts and support the crypto industry.

Trump’s campaign has embraced crypto, accepting donations in cryptocurrency and aiming to attract young, diverse voters. This move contrasts with Biden’s administration, which has been criticized by the crypto industry for its regulatory approach. The industry remains cautious of Trump’s reliability but sees his current rhetoric as favorable compared to Biden’s stance.

Despite the growing political influence of the crypto industry, broader public confidence in cryptocurrencies remains limited, with only 17% of Americans having invested in them. Nonetheless, the demographic skew of crypto users presents a valuable voter base for Trump, Biden, and Kennedy. Now it depends on who’s strategy prevails. 

The Biden administration appears to be easing its stance on cryptocurrency regulation, as evidenced by several recent developments. One notable shift is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approving spot ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

This approval indicates a significant change in the regulatory landscape, especially since the SEC has been probing prominent Ethereum-related institutions. Additionally, the bipartisan passage of the Deploying American Blockchains Act of 2023 in the House reflects a legislative push to enhance U.S. competitiveness in the blockchain sector, suggesting a more supportive environment for crypto innovation.

Crypto BigWigs: What Are They Saying? 

The cryptocurrency industry is heavily investing in the US political landscape, aiming to influence elections and promote crypto-friendly candidates. Organizations like the Fairshake PAC, which has raised $85 million, have successfully impacted several races, including opposing crypto-skeptic Congresswoman Katie Porter. Fairshake supports both Republican and Democratic candidates through affiliated PACs, contributing to their wins in recent primaries.

Industry insiders note an unprecedented level of political engagement from the crypto sector, which has influenced even some former skeptics like Senator Sherrod Brown to reconsider their stance. The industry’s past political efforts have had limited success, but its influence is growing.

Efforts are ongoing to pass crypto-friendly legislation, but challenges remain due to a lack of understanding among many lawmakers and concerns about scams and financial stability. The industry emphasizes the need for better education and strategic compromises on privacy issues to advance its goals.

State-level politics are becoming a focus, with groups like the Satoshi Action Fund advocating for pro-crypto policies in multiple states. They aim to build a supportive regulatory environment locally, which could eventually influence federal regulations. This approach mirrors the strategy used by the cannabis industry to gain broader acceptance.

Potential Outcomes

If President Joe Biden secures reelection, the future of cryptocurrency regulation in the U.S. is likely to continue along a cautious but evolving path. Initially, regulatory uncertainty and aggressive enforcement actions may persist, especially if key figures like SEC Chair Gary Gensler remain in their positions. The SEC under Gensler has taken a stringent stance on crypto, focusing on investor protection and regulatory compliance, which could mean continued scrutiny and enforcement actions against crypto firms that do not meet existing legal standards​ 

However, there are also signs of a potential shift towards a more balanced regulatory approach. Legislative efforts like the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, demonstrate bipartisan support for clearer and more favorable crypto regulations. If Biden’s administration continues to foster such initiatives, it can lead to a more structured and predictable regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies. Additionally, ongoing dialogues between regulators and industry stakeholders might result in the approval of new financial products like spot ETFs, further pushing crypto into mainstream finance. 

If Donald Trump wins the 2024 presidential election, the crypto industry may see a more favorable regulatory environment, but with some uncertainties. Trump, who has shown varying levels of interest in crypto, has recently indicated a more open stance, including accepting crypto campaign donations and showing interest in digital assets like NFTs.​ His administration may push for clearer regulatory frameworks that encourage growth for crypto, potentially easing some of the stringent measures imposed by the Biden administration​​. 

However, Trump’s historical skepticism towards crypto and his strong focus on maintaining the dominance of the U.S. dollar may still result in policies that come with stringent regulatory oversight.

Author: Makinde Adeniyi

The editorial team at #DisruptionBanking has taken all precautions to ensure that no persons or organisations have been adversely affected or offered any sort of financial advice in this article. This article is most definitely not financial advice.

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