Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will be the first presidential candidate in United States history to accept campaign donations in Bitcoin, making his first appearance as a presidential candidate at the crypto conference. He praised the cryptocurrency as a “symbol of democracy and freedom” during the event.
“Today, we show the world the power and the durability and the flexibility of Bitcoin. […] Almost everyone in this room is aware of the link between Bitcoin and democracy and freedom. […] They’re passionate because of the deep representation of a deep need that we have for liberty and democracy and the promise that this innovation has to guarantee those virtues.”
The candidate — who is challenging President Joe Biden — has been sharing his libertarian views about cryptocurrencies on Twitter. In a post on May 3, RFK Jr. stated that “crypto technologies are a major innovation engine,” adding that the U.S. is hobbling the industry and driving “innovation elsewhere.”
By attending the Bitcoin event, RFK Jr. is not only targeting voters but also a potential source of millions of dollars in donations. During last year’s midterm elections, Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of now-bankrupted crypto exchange FTX, donated $40 million in support of candidates. Crypto exchange Coinbase has also been actively lobbying for legislation regulating the crypto space in the country.
RFK Jr.’s increased commitment to cryptocurrencies coincides with a tight regulatory environment in the U.S., spreading uncertainty among players and harming an already battered industry.
The candidate believes the U.S. economy could be more resilient if it has a diverse ecosystem of currencies:
“Just as a biodiverse ecosystem is a resilient ecosystem, so too will our economy be more resilient if it has a diverse ecology of currencies, not just a single, centrally controlled one. We are seeing today how fragile our over-centralized system is.”
Magazine: Crypto regulation — Does SEC Chair Gary Gensler have the final say?