Vivek Ramaswamy – the 38-year-old Republican presidential candidate who vigorously championed cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology – announced Monday he is suspending his bid for the 2024 nomination after a lackluster fourth-place finish in the key Iowa caucuses.
Ramaswamy, the race’s sole millennial, stated “there’s no path for me to be the next president” given the results. He promptly endorsed current frontrunner Donald Trump, calling them the GOP’s two “America First candidates.” Underscoring the alliance, Ramaswamy will appear with Trump Tuesday at a New Hampshire rally. The joint emergence suggests Ramaswamy’s supporters could shift toward Trump’s camp.
The political newcomer stood out for wholeheartedly embracing the crypto ecosystem. He said: “The regulatory assault on crypto is an embodiment of our national decline.”
He views decentralized digital assets as upholding Jeffersonian freedom principles. For example, Ramaswamy staunchly opposed proposed excise taxes on Bitcoin (BTC) mining – which he called “a frontier in American innovation”, warranting encouragement not punishment.
Ramaswamy warned of a potential “Choke Point 6.0” regulatory overreach campaign designed to indirectly pressure banks and companies into stifling crypto development . He referenced Obama-era Operation Choke Point and recent climate policy directives as forerunners of the same unconstitutional coercion crypto could experience without vigilance.
He said: “It’s just part of a litany of an assault on liberties.”
Ramaswamy has also previously said he believes the US dollar, Bitcoin and dollar-pegged stablecoins could co-exist. Furthermore, the candidate had championed the idea of a crypto “Bill of Rights “. This idea was backed by the founder of Cardano (ADA), Charles Hoskinson.
As an investor himself in leading cryptocurrencies, Ramaswamy criticized bureaucrats like SEC Chair Gary Gensler for failing to provide clear security designation guidance around assets like Ethereum. In one congressional hearing, Gensler was unable to confirm or deny Ethereum’s status as a security. However, in years past, the SEC chair had said three-quarters of the crypto market did not meet that standard.
During one primary debate, Ramaswamy argued: “This exemplifies the administrative state going too far. That [Sam Bankman-Fried] could do what he did with FTX proves the regulatory framework is inadequate.”
While the Indian-American businessman’s withdrawal ends a unique populist candidacy, his alliance with Trump could mean a job in a future Trump administration. To date, Trump has sketched far less detailed crypto and blockchain positions than his new high-profile supporter. As an advisor, Ramaswamy’s imprint on policy could be substantial.
Supporters of cryptocurrency are optimistic that as an ally of Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy could influence the creation of a regulatory environment that fosters American leadership in the cryptocurrency sector. However, there is a noted skepticism regarding this possibility, given Trump’s historical tendency to disregard advice from others.