Trump Now Supports Cryptocurrency in Upcoming Presidential Campaign


Former President Donald Trump, who once labeled bitcoin a “scam,” has now adopted a favorable stance toward cryptocurrency and is positioning himself as an advocate for the industry in the upcoming presidential election.

This shift has evolved over several years and coincides with growing institutional acceptance of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, along with rising optimism among investors. Trump’s newfound support for digital assets was evident this weekend in Washington, where he addressed attendees at the Libertarian Party’s convention, pledging to protect the crypto industry.

“To the nation’s 50 million crypto holders, I say this: With your vote, I will keep [Sen.] Elizabeth Warren and her goons away from your bitcoin,” Trump declared, contrasting himself with the Massachusetts Democrat, one of the industry’s most vocal critics.

Trump embraces crypto and bitcoin at Libertarian gathering.
Former President Donald Trump addresses the Libertarian National Convention on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at the Washington Hilton. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Nevertheless, Trump’s support for digital assets marks a significant departure from his earlier stance on the flagship cryptocurrency bitcoin. This shift represents a complete turnaround in policy.

“Bitcoin, it just seems like a scam. … I don’t like it because it’s another currency competing against the dollar,” Trump said in a 2021 interview with Fox News, expressing his preference for the dollar as the world’s currency.

David McIntosh, president of Club for Growth, commented to the Truth Voices that Trump’s campaign’s embrace of crypto may be a savvy political move, besides any personal change of opinion.

“Part of that is politics. It’s seeing the opportunity to distinguish himself with younger voters, with voters engaged … in crypto,” McIntosh remarked regarding Trump’s Libertarian convention speech. “Because Biden has such a terrible record on it.”

Cryptocurrency supporters have had reservations about Biden’s track record. The Biden administration recently opposed bipartisan legislation aimed at providing regulatory clarity for digital assets while protecting investors and consumers, which had passed the House by a wide margin.

Moreover, several Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), diverged from the administration and voted this month to overturn a Securities and Exchange Commission accounting policy rule related to cryptocurrency that critics argue discourages companies from holding crypto assets for customers.

The Biden administration’s regulatory actions have frequently clashed with crypto advocates. The SEC under Chairman Gary Gensler has been particularly stringent toward the industry, especially following the collapse of the significant exchange FTX. SEC enforcement actions against crypto companies have nearly doubled since Gensler assumed his role in 2021. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission under Biden has also intensified its scrutiny of crypto.

Jim Harper, a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Truth Voices that while it’s uncertain if Trump’s policy change is intended to contrast with some on the Left, such as Warren, he pointed out that more centrist Democrats have recently broken from the “hard-left, anti-crypto team” on Capitol Hill. Harper cited Schumer’s recent vote as a significant gesture against the White House’s stance.

Biden’s stance on cryptocurrency is further complicated by Trump’s pivot and enthusiastic endorsement of digital assets.

“Trump’s switcheroo is significant in the position it puts Biden in right now,” Harper stated, suggesting it might push Biden closer to the center on crypto issues.

“[Biden] has kind of let the Left run and that’s got him kind of boxed in right now where the centrist Democrats are going to give crypto, which is an active, energetic, and monied community … to the Right, and I think that is a mistake that many in the Democrat Party recognize,” he added.

Further evidence of Trump’s shift on cryptocurrency lies in his promise to free Ross Ulbricht, who is serving a life sentence for running the darknet platform Silk Road, a marketplace for illegal drugs and other products bought and sold using cryptocurrency.

“If you vote for me, on Day One, I will commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht,” Trump pledged to the Libertarian gathering.

In 2019, Trump tweeted that he was “not a fan” of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, warning of their potential use for illicit activities, as seen on Silk Road.

“Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s embrace of bitcoin and the broader crypto market aligns with the general public’s sentiment and financial market trends. The surge in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum has often been called a bubble by skeptical analysts. When Trump was first elected, bitcoin was valued at around $700. Now, it nears $70,000, reflecting a 9,900% increase since Election Day 2016.

McIntosh, who co-chairs the bipartisan Blockchain Innovation Project with former Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, noted the emergence of a small but growing voter bloc prioritizing crypto.

“I think what you’ll see is, in this election, Trump will benefit from being the advocate for crypto and expanding it,” he said. “I think he will have an approach like Bill Clinton did in the ’90s where it was: Keep our hands off of the internet, let it develop as a new technology. And then as we’re seeing now 25 years later, it has revolutionized our whole economy.”

Zachary Halaschak
Zachary Halaschak
Economics Reporter. Before moving to Washington, he worked in Alaska, covering politics, government, and crime for the Ketchikan Daily News. While there, Zach won the Alaska Press Club’s second-place award for best reporting on crime or courts for his coverage of a local surgeon’s alleged murder. He graduated from the University of Richmond and is originally from Florida.

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