Robert F. Kennedy will be the first presidential candidate in US history to accept campaign donations in Bitcoin, according to his announcement during his first appearance as a presidential candidate at the Bitcoin 2023 conference. Kennedy praised the cryptocurrency as a “symbol of democracy and freedom” during the event.
He stated, “Today, we showcase the power, strength, and resilience of Bitcoin to the world. Almost everyone in this room recognizes the link between Bitcoin, democracy, and freedom… They are excited because of the deep symbolism of the profound need we have for freedom and democracy and the promise that this innovation holds to achieve those values.”
The candidate, who is challenging President Joe Biden, had previously shared his libertarian views on cryptocurrencies on Twitter. In a post on May 3rd, Kennedy Jr. affirmed that “cryptocurrency technologies are a major driver of innovation,” adding that the United States hinders the industry and pushes “innovation elsewhere.”
Kennedy Jr. is the nephew of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.
By attending the Bitcoin event, Kennedy Jr. aims to target not only voters but also a potential source of millions of dollars in donations. During the previous midterm elections, Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, donated $40 million to support candidates. The cryptocurrency exchange platform “Coinbase” has also actively advocated for cryptocurrency-friendly regulations in the country.
Kennedy Jr.’s increased commitment to cryptocurrencies comes amidst a stricter regulatory environment in the United States, which spreads uncertainty among players and harms this already struggling industry.
The candidate believes that the US economy can be more resilient if it has a diverse currency environment, stating, “Just as a diverse ecosystem is a strong one, our economy will be more resilient if it has an environment that includes a diversity of currencies, not just one centrally controlled currency. We are seeing today the fragility of our overly concentrated system.”