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U.S. Presidential Hopeful Robert Kennedy Holds and Accepts Bitcoin — Can he Save Crypto in America?

Last Updated July 11, 2023 6:58 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated July 11, 2023 6:58 AM
Key Takeaways
  • After the summit in Miami, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. invested up to $250,000 in Bitcoin
  • His comments in May that he was not an investor in Bitcoin disagree with the most current investment disclosure
  • Kennedy is a fervent supporter of Bitcoin and has received backing from some well-known figures in the cryptocurrency world

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democratic presidential contender, admitted to owning a sizeable quantity of Bitcoin after originally denying it and giving the cryptocurrency to his wife. Nevertheless, his campaign claims that there is no conflict of interest.

No Conflict of Interest in Owning BTC

Kennedy gave a keynote speech at Bitcoin 2023 in Miami in May and lauded Bitcoin, saying the network should be nourished and safeguarded. He added that Bitcoin donations would be accepted for his campaign. But he also made it clear to conference attendees that he did not own Bitcoin and that his support for the asset did not constitute investing advice.

Kennedy also compared his position to that of the current U.S. president and cited Biden’s proposed 30% excise tax on cryptocurrency miners, arguing it would require a “invasive surveillance apparatus to monitor what is happening in individual computers” and would be unwise to set such a precedent.

Kennedy’s family does, however, appear to have between $100,000 and $250,000 worth of Bitcoin in a brokerage account as of June 30, according to a financial declaration acquired by CNBC. According to the report, which does not specify when the transaction was made, Kennedy’s family earned less than $201 from the purchase.

Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Kennedy’s campaign manager, commented  that there was no conflict of interest and that the purchase happened following Kennedy’s supportive comments about Bitcoin in Miami.

Following the article’s publication, Kennedy’s campaign initially informed the public that the Bitcoin belonged to Kennedy’s wife, Cheryl Hines, who is well-known for her work on the television program “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Later, a Kennedy campaign official clarified that they were wrong and that Kennedy actually did own the Bitcoin investment.

Old Bitcoin Proponent

While Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have both made an effort to court the Bitcoin vote, Kennedy has been a steadfast backer of Bitcoin among Democratic contenders.

Kennedy has tweeted less frequently about Bitcoin since Miami, and the subject was not brought up during his lengthy one-on-one interview with Twitter CEO Elon Musk last month. Nevertheless, Kennedy has occasionally continued to support the oldest cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin, he claimed on June 27, “is not only a bulwark against totalitarianism and the manipulation of our money supply, but it also points the way toward a future in which governmental institutions are more open and democratic.”

Some well-known figures in the cryptocurrency world have favor Kennedy, including Block CEO Jack Dorsey, who declared last month that Kennedy “can and will” defeat DeSantis or Donald Trump in the general election.

 Kennedy would first need to defeat President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary for it to occur. According to a recent Echelon Insights study, 65% of people would support Biden over Kennedy, who would be chosen by only 14% of respondents.

What Other Presidential Candidates Think of Bitcoin (Crypto)?

“No fundamental value,” – Joe Biden, Democrat

Joe Biden, the current president of the United States, launched his reelection campaign on April 25. He is currently the likely favorite to be the Democratic Party’s choice for president.

The 2023 Economic Report of the President, which includes a section on cryptocurrency for the first time since it started in 1950, may best capture Biden’s perspective on cryptocurrencies.

The purpose of this section was to refute the “Perceived Appeal of Crypto Assets.” It suggested that many of cryptocurrency’s “touted” benefits are unattainable and that “many of them have no fundamental value.”

Biden has advocated against what he calls “tax loopholes” for cryptocurrency and even opposed a deal with Republicans to raise the debt ceiling because, in his words, it protected “wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders.”

“Not a Fan of Bitcoin” – Donald Trump, a Republican

On November 15, 2022, the former president turned NFT salesperson Trump threw in the towel on his non-consecutive reelection bid. According to recent polling, he is the Republican nominee with the most support.

Cryptocurrencies, according to Trump, “may be fake” and are “a disaster waiting to happen.” Additionally, he has stated that Bitcoin “just seems like a scam” and that he doesn’t like it “because it is another currency competing against the dollar.”

 Trump said in a tweet in July 2019 that he was “not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies” and that their value was “based on thin air.” However, Trum seems to be loving NFTs as his wife Melania has recently introduced a fresh line of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on famous American sites.

“Every right to do Bitcoin” – Ron DeSantis, Republican

In announcing his presidential candidacy on Twitter on May 24, Ron DeSantis pledged to “protect” Bitcoin. Prior to his declaration, the Florida governor was rated as Trump’s second favorite in polls.

DeSantis declared during the launch of his Twitter campaign that “You have every right to do Bitcoin” and that he would “protect the ability to do things like Bitcoin.” 

He criticized Congress, saying it “never addressed” cryptocurrency, and said that regulators had made it so “that people can not operate in that space.”

Bitcoin shouldn’t be treated like a Security – Vivek Ramaswamy, Republican

Vivek Ramaswamy, the founder of a pharmaceutical company, has also expressed support for cryptocurrencies but is thought to be a long shot to win the party’s candidacy.

Ramaswamy stated on Twitter in mid-May that “Bitcoin should not be regulated as a security.” He made the announcement that he will take Bitcoin donations for his campaign at the Bitcoin 2023 conference.

 

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