Will the 2024 Election Affect Crypto?

The world of crypto currencies is at a crossroad. Crypto winter had a sobering effect on everyone. It also helped usher in a new era of regulation which has been welcomed by some and very painful for others. The EU and others have gotten their legislative houses in order regarding crypto currencies. The new EU crypto rules could be a nice model for the US. Sadly the US Congress is bickering over virtually everything. The only way forward for crypto may be a wholesale housecleaning at the 2024 election. How will the 2024 election affect crypto?

Administrative Action on Cryptocurrencies

In March of 2022 President Biden issued an executive order. The Future of US Money and Payment Systemsdirected US agencies like the Federal Reserve, Treasury, SEC and CFTC to get their regulatory houses in order in regard to who should be overseeing what as crypto grows and becomes a more important part of the nation’s financial picture. This was a necessary step made even more necessary by the fact that Congress has of yet passed no laws like they did in the EU. Thus the administrative arm of the US government had to step in where the legislative arm failed to act.

What Presidential Politicians Think About Cryptocurrencies

A useful article in Grayscale looked at the 2024 presidential election and what the various candidates say. They note that Biden favors a central bank digital currency which is in line with his executive order last year. He also favors a 30% tax on Bitcoin mining. The current president and candidate for 2024 wants to see regulatory protections for retail investors as crypto gains wider and wider use.

The current leading candidate on the Republican side is ex-president Donald Trump. Trump sees Bitcoin as a scam but has a favorable opinion about a possible central bank digital currency. The next in line on the Republican side is Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida. He is against a Bitcoin mining tax, vows to protect crypto from regulation, and says he will support the right to trade crypto. He actually introduced legislation in Florida to “protect Floridians” from a central bank digital currency. That part sounds like pure politics like protecting Floridians from the US dollar. Robert Kennedy Jr. who trails Biden on the Democratic side pretty much follows the DeSantis line.

The two likely 2024 presidential candidates will be Biden and Trump despite widespread misgivings about both of them being around 80 years old. Thus the choice will be between someone who sees Bitcoin as a scam and someone who wants to regulate crypto to protect investors and customers.

What Do Congressional Candidates Think About Crypto?

Any legislation having to do with spending must originate in the House of Representatives rather than the Senate. In July, House Republicans (who are the majority) introduced legislation to protect crypto consumers. As a rule Republicans have been more supportive of crypto and against regulations. Democrats have wanted tougher regulations. Because the President cannot act alone to create crypto regulations, it will come down to which party ends up with the majority both in the House of Representatives and in the US Senate. It is unlikely that the elections either for president or seats in Congress will be decided based on cryptocurrency issues. It is much more likely that abortion, border issues, the war in Ukraine, and the state of the economy will drive the voting. Crypto will benefit or suffer based on how people vote regarding these other issues.

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