Donald Trump’s Crypto Flip

Throughout the course of his 2016-2020 presidency, Donald Trump and most of those around him wanted nothing to do with cryptocurrencies in general, and even less to do with regulating them. On more than one occasion, Trump labelled cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin a “scam” and has repeatedly spoken about or alluded to the “rampant” use of cryptocurrencies to facilitate crime.

While the Republican Party has retained most of its stances, their top presidential candidate seems to have completely changed his. In a statement released last week, Donald Trump expressed support for cryptocurrencies and used them as yet another rallying cry for his supporters. This change, though recent, could have major implications for crypto in the US should Donald Trump once again take charge in the Oval Office.

Politically-Motivated Reasons for the Flip

Donald Trump’s decision to do a 180 on cryptocurrency is entirely politically motivated, as are most things politicians do and say in the lead up to a major election. On one hand, he is using crypto to bash current president Joe Biden who has largely avoided discussing nor addressing rules and regulations in any serious way. On the other hand, he refers to crypto as a weapon enemies of the United States could use to harm us.

In a move true to the Trump brand, the former president took to social media to announce his change of heart, saying, “Bitcoin mining may be our last line of defense against a CBDC [central bank digital currency]. Biden’s hatred of Bitcoin only helps China, Russia, and the Radical Communist Left. We want all the remaining Bitcoin to be MADE IN THE USA!!! It will help us be ENERGY DOMINANT!!!”

In his announcement, Trump frames the crypto discussion as an important one due to its implications for US security. In his eyes, inaction on the part of the US to address, regulate, and oversee the crypto industry as a whole could open the door for arch-enemies to get a leg up, whether it be financially or otherwise.

The Winklevoss Donation

No matter how Donald Trump’s complete change of heart on crypto is being framed by him and his team, there is no doubt that money was also a motivating factor in this switch. Last week, the famous Winklevoss twins announced that they would each be donating $1 million to Donald Trump’s campaign.

Seeing as the Winklevoss duo has long been entrenched in the crypto world and founded crypto exchange Gemini, there is no real guessing as to why they might be donating to Trump’s campaign. For a while now, the Gemini founders have disparaged the Biden administration’s approach to cryptocurrencies and crypto regulation, or lack thereof. Echoing the sentiments of Trump himself, the Winklevoss have gone as far as to say the Biden has “declared war” on crypto. It is clear to see where the Winklevoss twins have placed their betting chips for the upcoming election, but it will be curious to see if they are alone or if other major players in the crypto space will also publicly announce support for the former president.

What, if anything, this all means for the future of crypto in the United States remains unclear because we still have quite a few months before November’s election. Not only that, there is no real way of knowing how serious Trump really is. This could be an ideological shift in Trump’s policies that ushers in clear, fair rules governing crypto in the United States, but it could also be nothing more than a politician saying what people want to hear to get a few campaign donations. Regardless of how this all shakes out, it is an encouraging sign because the overall inaction on the part of Washington to do anything meaningful in the crypto space is becoming increasingly evident as other countries across the globe continue to set the pace for crypto governance.

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