In a surprising turn of events, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a well-known Bitcoin supporter and somewhat contentious figure, declared his independent candidacy for the presidency at a rally in Philadelphia, separating himself from his previous party membership. His decision comes after a less than optimistic poll showed him to be a distinct second to the current state of affairs at 71% incumbent President support.
Curiously, Kennedy is not your typical left-field player. His positions have sparked controversy among party members and the general public alike. His widespread skepticism towards vaccines is one such position that has drawn attention. Even more intriguing however, is his positive stance on crypto, specifically Bitcoin. Kennedy, like many crypto enthusiasts, recognises the potential limited environmental impact of Bitcoin miners, contrary to the widely held belief by the current administration.
Bringing campaign finance into the digital age, Kennedy announced at this year’s Bitcoin Miami event that he would be the first candidate to accept Bitcoin donations over the lightning network. Not only has he invested in Bitcoin for his children, but he’s also pledged to exempt Bitcoin investors from capital gains taxes. This move is aimed to bolster the national adoption of digital currency. He has even gone so far as to suggest that the U.S. dollar could be backed by Bitcoin, alongside other “hard currencies” like gold and silver.
Placing Kennedy in a comparative pool, his crypto positioning mirrors those of his Republican counterparts, such as Ron DeSantis, who himself has promised to end the “war on Bitcoin”. Both candidates share grievances towards Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), viewing them as tools of fiscal surveillance and control.
However, these crypto supporters might not find solace in either party camp. Ex-President Donald Trump, who leads the Republican polls at 60%, has previously labeled Bitcoin as a potential threat to the U.S dollar. Despite this, filings from August reveal an ownership of $2.8 million in crypto.
The road to the oval office for an independent candidate is steep and filled with challenges. But according to a poll shared by the Super PAC American Values 2024, Kennedy’s support from 19% of the electorate could make him one of the most popular independent candidates in recent history. As the country’s political landscape continues to evolve, so too does the role of digital currency in shaping the future.