Ron DeSantis, an American politician known for advocating for the crypto community, has withdrawn from the race for the U.S. presidency, effectively clearing the path for Donald Trump.
This decision was announced through a video posted on X, following a less-than-expected performance where he finished second in the recent Iowa Republican caucuses.
In his statement , DeSantis acknowledged the challenges in his campaign’s path to victory, expressing his reluctance to continue demanding time and resources from his supporters without a clear possibility of success.
He said :
“If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome, more campaign stops, more interviews, I would do it, but I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.”
In the lead-up to this development, notable figures Francis Suarez and Vivek Ramaswamy had already thrown their support behind Trump, leaving Robert Kennedy Jr. as the remaining crypto-friendly candidate in the Republican primaries.
Kennedy Jr. has been vocal in his support for blockchain technology, lauding Bitcoin (BTC) as the “currency of freedom .” He has also echoed similar concerns as Trump regarding central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), criticizing them as potential tools for governmental control over citizens’ financial transactions.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump, currently leading in the Republican race for the 2024 elections, has recently declared his intention to hinder the establishment of a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC), often referred to as a digital dollar, should he return to office.
The concept of a digital dollar, gaining momentum from the likes of Bitcoin and heightened by Facebook’s unsuccessful digital currency project as well as China’s digital yuan, has stirred controversy and cultural debate.
In a contrasting development, while Elon Musk is reportedly gearing up for a significant cryptocurrency announcement , Trump has broadened his engagement with crypto through an expansion of his non-fungible token (NFT) “digital trading card” collection on the Bitcoin network. This move is fueling speculation that Trump might backtrack on his previous skepticism towards blockchain technology, especially as the value of Bitcoin continues to rise.
Trump commented :
“Tonight, I am also making another promise to protect Americans from government tyranny. As your president, I will never allow the creation of a CBDC.”
The U.S. Federal Reserve, in coordination with various global central banks and governments, has been exploring the issuance of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). However, it has consistently stated that any creation of such a digital currency would not proceed without explicit authorization from Congress.
Donald Trump expressed strong concerns about the potential implications of a digital dollar, saying :
“[A digital dollar] would give a federal government—our federal government — absolute control over your money. They could take your money. You wouldn’t even know it’s gone. This would be a dangerous threat to freedom, and I will stop it from coming to America.”
He also emphasized the risks he perceives in allowing the government such control, viewing it as a significant threat to individual freedom, and vowed to prevent its implementation in the United States.
While the Democratic party has discussed the advantages of introducing a digital dollar , there has been limited tangible progress toward this goal. In September 2022, President Biden issued a framework requesting the Federal Reserve to investigate the feasibility of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), following an executive order he signed in March. However, there has been minimal further communication from the White House on this matter since then.
During a House Financial Services Committee hearing in March 2023, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated that the possibility of a U.S. digital currency is still a distant reality. Powell described the Fed’s current activities as “early stage experimentation” to understand the functionality, optimal technology, and efficiency of a potential CBDC.
It’s important to note that CBDCs are not the sole option for fiat-backed digital currencies. Another alternative is stablecoins, which can be issued by private companies. For instance, USDC, a stablecoin launched through a collaboration between Coinbase and Circle, is backed by traditional banking system reserves, unlike algorithm-supported stablecoins.