The political landscape in the United States is undergoing a seismic shift, as demonstrated by the entrance of Bitcoin in Political Campaigns.
During his presidential announcement on Twitter, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis emphasised the mainstream significance of cryptocurrency. He stated that the current administration has a negative stance on Bitcoin and its potential demise if they remain in power for another term.
This pivotal moment marks not only the debut of cryptocurrency as a campaign issue but also signals a potential transformation in American politics.
To comprehend the implications of this transformation, it is crucial to understand why cryptocurrency has become politicised. Further, why its role in politics is expected to expand.
Understanding the Politicisation of Cryptocurrency and its Implications
The politicisation of cryptocurrency should not come as a surprise, as it represents a form of money that possesses significant power. Money equals power, and power is inherently tied to politics.
Bitcoin, as envisioned by its creator Satoshi, aimed to challenge the authority of governments and central banks by establishing a decentralised peer-to-peer currency. Consequently, many politicians who advocate for government intervention and centralised control are opposed to Bitcoin in Political Campaigns.
This explains why, in recent months, certain Democrats have taken anti-cryptocurrency positions, with the Biden administration leading the charge.
President Biden targeted “wealthy crypto investors” in his critique, accusing them of exploiting tax loopholes supported by “MAGA Republicans.” Additionally, Gary Gensler, the Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has issued threats of lawsuits against prominent crypto exchanges and protocols.
In support of Gensler’s approach, Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee released a memo urging fellow party members to adopt more stringent positions. The memo emphasised the SEC’s stance that almost all crypto assets are considered securities.
Democrats’ Divergent Positions on Cryptocurrency: Representative Ritchie Torres supporting Bitcoin in Political Campaign
However, it is important to note that not all Democrats adhere to the party line on crypto-related matters. Representative Ritchie Torres, the youngest Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, stands out as a pro-Bitcoin advocate. He believes that cryptocurrency can empower individuals to liberate themselves from the perceived abuses of the traditional financial system.
Torres contends that the divide on crypto is not solely partisan or ideological but rather generational. The younger Democrats like himself being more receptive to the innovative potential of crypto and blockchain technology.
Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has garnered support from 20 percent of Democratic voters, is another notable figure who strongly supports Bitcoin. Kennedy delivered a keynote address at The Bitcoin Conference in Nashville. He described holding Bitcoin as a fundamental right and an embodiment of democracy.
Moreover, Kennedy shares Governor DeSantis’s staunch opposition to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) due to concerns about privacy and personal freedom. Both Kennedy and DeSantis have pledged to prevent the development of a CBDC by the Federal Reserve or any other government entity if elected president.
Bitcoin’s Ability to Transcend Party Lines and Generational Divisions
Despite their different party affiliations, Kennedy and DeSantis demonstrate a shared mindset on crypto-related issues. This indicates an important development in American politics.
The fact that Bitcoin can bring together diverse individuals, such as a gay Congressman from the Bronx, an environmentalist Democrat from New England, and an anti-woke Republican Governor from Florida, highlights that crypto does not strictly align with party lines or generational divisions.
Representatives Tom Emmer and Senator Cynthia Lummis, who are both strong proponents of Bitcoin, further emphasise this point, as they are older politicians who support the technology.
This shift in political dynamics may signify the emergence of a new fault line in American politics—one that transcends the traditional Right vs. Left divide and centres around establishment vs. anti-establishment, centralization vs. decentralisation, and state vs. crypto.
The alignment of Torres, Kennedy, and DeSantis on Bitcoin reflects a pro-democratic sentiment combined with a fundamental distrust of large corporations and government institutions. This unlikely alliance prompts the question of what factors might strengthen their bond in the future.