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Trump vs. Biden: What US Presidential Debate Could Signal for Cryptocurrency Regulations

Last Updated June 24, 2024 3:32 PM
Eddie Mitchell
Last Updated June 24, 2024 3:32 PM
Key Takeaways
  • Crypto is becoming a voting issue.
  • Biden has received criticism for not embracing crypto technologies and legislation.
  • Trump has made numerous pro-crypto pledges along the campaign trail.

After a long four years, Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican predecessor Donald Trump will be sharing the same state for the first time for a widely anticipated debate on June 27, 2024.

With crypto becoming an increasingly hot topic amongst voters, where do the two political rivals stand on crypto?

Biden on Crypto

The sitting president has been rather quiet on cryptocurrencies, and some influential figures such Mark Cuban, Pantera Capital, Uniswap, and others have urged Biden to rethink his approach.

A great deal of the criticism stems from Biden’s appointment of Gary Gensler as chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC). So far in his tenure, Gensler has levied dozens of lawsuits and enforcement actions on the crypto sector.

Furthermore, his adamance to classify tokens such as Ripple (XRP), Uniswap (UNI), and others as securities has caused many to blame him for the U.S.’s stifled domestic crypto industry. Ironically, the SEC did approve spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) this year.

Unfortunately, it is not just Gensler’s appointment that has drawn the ire of the crypto community. After the pro-crypto bipartisan bill, the Financial Innovation and Technology Act of 2021 (FIT21), passed through the House of Representatives, Biden criticized the bill.

Arguing it “lacked sufficient protections for consumers,”, the president still expressed  a willingness to work with Congress on developing appropriate legislation for the digital asset space. Now, Biden appears eager to capture the crypto vote and may begin accepting crypto donations through a Coinbase partnership.

Skepticism toward the democratic party’s intentions with crypto has run so deep that experts have begun to theorize if the Ethereum (ETH) ETF approval decision was purely political. This could further cement the conviction of crypto voters who were already leaning towards Trump.

Trump on Crypto

Trump’s U-turn on crypto has been somewhat of a spectacle. The presidential hopeful has changed his tune significantly on Bitcoin and crypto, and is seemingly winning over the crypto vote.

Trump has even launched his own non-fungible token (NFT) collection. Regardless of whether or not the project was successful, it caught mainstream attention and was widely reacted to by major creators on YouTube.

According to recent surveys, Trump is the favorite amongst cryptocurrency owners, and this was from a rather small sample size of 1,000 voters, 7% of whom owned more than $1,000 in crypto. Other polling data  shows that around a third of voters consider crypto to be an issue, with half stating they do not trust candidates that interfere with crypto.

Amongst his many crypto-related endeavors, Trump is making some pledges along the campaign trail. Not only has he pledged to significantly boost the U.S. Bitcoin mining sector, and describe BTC as the “last line of defense” against foreign adversaries, but he’s also personally vowed to “end Joe Biden’s war on crypto.”

Political Memecoins

Other than  SEC chairman Gary Gensler, both Trump and Biden are perhaps the most ubiquitous politicians in the crypto space.

Just looking at the markets alone, you’ll notice dozens of Trump-themed tokens. There’s MAGA (TRUMP), Trump Mania (TMANIA), the more obscure Pepe Trump (PTRUMP), Baby Trump (BABYTRUMP), and many others.

Some like Solana-based TrumpCoin (DJT) claim to be affiliated with the former president, while others deny any affiliation. Regardless, the Trump brand is strewn throughout the market.

Biden also has a meme-worthy presence in the market. There is the aptly named Joe Biden (BIDEN), and the more obscure Jeo Boden (BODEN), Dark Boden (DOBEN), and Hunter Biden’s Laptop (LAPTOP), amongst others.

Reflecting the more cynical and humorous side of crypto, the BODEN token and other BODEN memecoins had a small surge following Hunter Biden’s guilty verdict, as did LAPTOP.

Undoubtedly, the former and current U.S. presidents have become culturally significant within cryptocurrency, but could it swing an election?

Crypto is a Voting Issue

Crypto is increasingly a voting issue for Americans with approximately  40% of the adult population now owning crypto. But whether or not it can change the outcome of an election remains yet to be seen.

Industry titans are also weighing in on the election. Recently, Ripple (XRP) CEO Brad Garlinghouse suggested that pro-crypto candidates will score more votes. He suggested once again that clearer regulations around “[…]one of the U.S.’ fastest-growing industries” would have no downside.

Arguably, for as long as Gensler remains as SEC chair, which he may do if Biden is reelected, crypto regulations may continue to go in the same, slow direction. Should the sweeping, pro-crypto FIT21 bill receive backing from the current president, it could swing crypto votes in the democrat’s direction.

That said, it could be too little too late as Trump continues to court the markets and sector throughout his campaign.

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