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Trump Vows to Boost Bitcoin’s Future in the US, Targets 50 Million Crypto Holders

Last Updated June 17, 2024 9:45 AM
James Morales
Last Updated June 17, 2024 9:45 AM

Key Takeaways

  • Donald Trump has promised that “the future of Bitcoin will be made in America.”
  • Trump’s comments follow his outreach to US Bitcoin miners last week
  • The move is part of a wider Republican effort to woo pro-crypto voters.

Donald Trump is seeking to capitalize on voters’ frustration with the current administration’s stance on crypto by positioning himself as a Bitcoin champion.

Having pitched his vision for all-American Bitcoin mining to the likes of Marathon Digital and Riot Platforms last Tuesday, in a speech on Friday, June 14, Trump vowed to “end Joe Biden’s war on crypto,” and “ensure that the future of crypto and the future of Bitcoin will be made in America.”

Trump Embraces Pr0-Crypto Narrative

For a man who once said he was “not a fan of Bitcoin ,” and has variously condemned cryptocurrencies as “based on thin air,” “a scam ,” and “a disaster waiting to happen ,” Donald Trump has done a complete 180 in the current election cycle. 

In an interview with NBC News in March, he acknowledged that the technology had become entrenched and said “I’m not sure I’d want to take it away at this point.”

By the end of May when he spoke at the Libertarian National Convention, Trump’s conversion was complete. 

Foreshadowing his latest comments, he told the audience : “I will ensure that the future of crypto and Bitcoin will be made in the USA, not driven overseas. I will support the right to self-custody to the nation’s 50 million crypto holders.”

So far, the right to self-custody is probably the closest thing to a specific policy commitment Trump has made on the issue. But against the backdrop of widespread dissatisfaction with the current administration’s approach, many in the space welcome the prospect of change.

During Trump’s previous presidency, a Republican-leaning Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) largely left the industry to its own devices. In contrast, Biden’s pick for the SEC Chair, Garry Gensler, has made enemies across the breadth of American crypto.

Limited Government Key to Trump’s Crypto Pitch

As the world’s largest economy, famous for its entrepreneurial spirit, even the hostile regulatory climate of recent years hasn’t (yet) driven the crypto industry away from the US.

Rather than making it great again, Trump only needs to keep American crypto great, as he appeared to acknowledge on Friday when he asserted that “we’re going to keep it right here.”

Compared to the SEC’s crackdown under Gary Gensler and Democrat-driven environmental crusades against the energy-intensive Bitcoin mining sector, the right-wing preference for free markets and limited government could relieve some of the pressure US crypto firms are currently under.

Arguing his case, Trump met with key players from the American crypto industry on Tuesday, Jun 11, at an event that was attended by representatives from major US Bitcoin miners, including CleanSpark, Riot Platforms and Marathon Digital. 

Trump Backs American Bitcoin Mining

Following his outreach to mining firms, Trump took to Truth Social to declare: “Bitcoin mining may be our last line of defense against a CBDC.” 

Doubling down on a narrative that depicts the current president as anti-crypto, he added that “Biden’s hatred of Bitcoin only helps China, Russia, and the Radical Communist Left. “We want all the remaining Bitcoin to be Made in the USA,” he concluded.

Of course, by most estimates, the US already mines more Bitcoin that any other country, accounting for as much as 40% of the global hash rate 

But some states are much more favorable to miners than others. For instance, miners have flocked to Texas in recent years thanks to its dynamic electricity pricing, vast renewable energy resources and accommodating regulatory climate.

How Bitcoin Mining Became a Partisan Issue

Objecting to Bitcoin miners’ massive energy consumption on environmental grounds, in recent years, Congressional Democrats have launched several attacks on the industry.

Spearheaded by Congressman Jared Huffman and Senator Elizabeth Warren, in 2022, Democratic lawmakers petitioned  the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to require Bitcoin miners to report their electricity usage.

The anti-mining faction appeared to achieve some success in January when the DOE launched an initiative to survey miners’ energy consumption in Texas. But after a federal judge blocked  the scheme, the government has abandoned its attempt to intervene.

Republicans Seize on Crypto Sector Frustration

Between Congressional Democrats’ war on Bitcoin mining, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s ongoing efforts to sue American crypto firms, and Joe Biden’s veto of a bill that would have reigned the agency in, many in the US crypto sector are embracing the GOP.

Accordingly, Donald Trump isn’t the only Republican seizing on the issue.

In a recent interview, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said that not only “have seen Trump make this part of his campaign,” but Republicans in general “are being very strategic” in how they position themselves on crypto policy issues.

Trump’s appeal to the Bitcoin mining industry is part of a wider Republican effort to woo pro-crypto voters.

If it succeeds, Americans using their vote to call for better crypto regulation could help decide some of the closest races in December.

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