June 21th, 2024 | 8:03


Donald Trump supports cryptocurrencies

Maria Jose Gonzalez

May 18, 2024 | 6:17 p.m.

Donald Trump's explicit support for cryptocurrencies marks a significant shift from his previous criticism during his first term as president. This shift aligns with the Republican Party's growing sympathy toward digital assets, in contrast to Democrats' ongoing debate over the legitimacy of the industry following several high-profile scandals. Trump's new stance represents a pivotal moment for cryptocurrency companies, which have invested heavily in lobbying efforts in Washington and are spending tens of millions of dollars to influence the 2024 election.

A significant change

Kristin Smith, CEO of the Blockchain Association, a leading crypto industry lobbying group, noted: “President Trump’s statements signal a sea change in the importance of digital assets in this election cycle.” Trump's support provides him with a new line of attack against President Biden, whose administration, under the direction of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, has pursued a series of enforcement actions against cryptocurrency companies accused of violating the federal securities laws. The White House angered crypto advocates when it threatened to veto bipartisan House legislation that would overturn SEC guidelines the industry loathes.

«Gensler is very against this"Trump said Wednesday about the administration's approach to crypto. «Democrats are very against this.. "

An ally in innovation

«President Trump understands freedom and liberty, he knows that innovation needs to be protected here in the United States, and he knows that the role of government is to make sure we create an environment in which innovation grows and thrives.“said Bernie Moreno, Republican Senate candidate from Ohio and long-time crypto advocate. «So it's not surprising to see him make those comments about crypto.. "

Former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, seen as a potential Cabinet official in a second Trump administration, championed crypto during the GOP primaries and helped push the former president to oppose the adoption of a crypto-backed digital currency. government central bank. Crypto companies also oppose a potential Federal Reserve digital currency, with conservatives warning it is a threat to privacy.

"I was impressed by President Trump's ability to delve into an issue area that was new to him," Ramaswamy said in an interview last month.

Ramaswamy declined to comment on whether he hopes to work on crypto policy in a second Trump administration, saying he is "focused on winning the election."

A notable change of heart

Trump's support for digital assets was not always a given. He ridiculed crypto on social media during his presidency, and key members of his cabinet took a skeptical approach toward the industry. Its SEC Chairman initiated major litigation against a prominent crypto company.

However, Trump has started dabbling in crypto since leaving office. He has issued his own NFT and, as of last August, owned $2.8 million in a crypto wallet.

“It's pretty remarkable to see, in the few years since he left office, the 180-degree turn he's made in crypto,” said Cody Carbone, policy director at the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a crypto advocacy group. «It's great to see you come out and support the industry. "

Potential risks

Trump's support for crypto carries potential risks. Digital asset markets have seen dramatic ups and downs in recent years, and key industry players, such as Sam Bankman-Fried, have been sentenced to prison for breaking the law.

The change also represents a risk for the crypto lobby in Washington. Trump could make digital asset regulation policy even more partisan in the future. The industry has spent years and millions of dollars in campaign contributions trying to build support in both parties, which will be key to enacting the legislation crypto companies want.

«I don't want this to become a partisan issue."Carbon said. «I think this presents an opportunity for Democrats to start looking at themselves and educating themselves on the benefits of digital assets.. "

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