Donald Trump’s dramatic reversal on crypto: change of heart or just a political maneuver?

on Jun 16, 2024
  • Trump meets with Bitcoin miners, vows to support crypto and end Biden's "war on crypto."
  • Former crypto critic Trump now champions Bitcoin, promises no central bank digital currency.
  • Trump's campaign to accept crypto donations, targeting young voters and crypto enthusiasts.

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In a surprising turnaround, former US President Donald Trump has embraced the very cryptocurrencies he once condemned.

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This shift comes as Trump seeks to gain an edge over rivals Joe Biden and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. among the technology’s devoted young fan base and its deep-pocketed executives.

Hours after meeting with Bitcoin miners at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Trump took to his Truth Social platform to declare that cryptocurrency users should “vote for Trump!” because he will stand up to “Biden’s hatred of Bitcoin.”

This declaration follows weeks of concerted outreach to crypto enthusiasts and industry leaders, signaling a major shift in Trump’s approach to digital currencies.

A Bitcoin mining executive who attended the Mar-a-Lago meeting told CNBC that the industry has committed to raising over $100 million and mobilizing more than 5 million voters to support Trump this fall.

A radical shift from previous views

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Trump’s current enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies is a stark contrast to his earlier stance. In 2019, while in office, Trump was clear in his disdain for Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

He labelled them as “not money,” describing their value as “highly volatile and based on thin air.” He also warned that unregulated crypto assets could facilitate unlawful activities, including drug trade and other illegal behavior.

“We have only one real currency in the USA,” Trump stated,

And it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!

Even after leaving office, Trump maintained his skeptical stance. In 2021, he told Fox Business that Bitcoin “just seems like a scam” and “a disaster waiting to happen.”

He called for heavy regulation of cryptocurrencies, expressing concerns over their potential risks.

A gradual change of heart

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However, by March 2023, Trump’s perspective began to evolve. As Bitcoin’s price rebounded following various scandals and setbacks, he acknowledged the growing entrenchment of cryptocurrencies, stating he was “not sure I’d want to take it away at this point.”

By May, Trump had fully transitioned into a proponent of digital currencies, making a compelling case for crypto at the Libertarian Party’s national convention in Washington.

During his speech to the libertarians, Trump vowed to “stop Joe Biden’s crusade to crush crypto,” earning applause from the audience.

He promised to ensure that the future of crypto and Bitcoin would be made in the USA and supported the right to self-custody for the nation’s 50 million crypto holders.

“With your vote, I will keep Elizabeth Warren and her goons away from your Bitcoin,” Trump asserted. “And I will never allow the creation of a central bank digital currency.”

Linking crypto to national and energy security

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Trump has now intertwined crypto with national and energy security, particularly for the fossil fuel industry, which he has pledged to defend. His campaign also announced plans to accept donations in cryptocurrency, marking the first major presidential campaign to do so.

The move is part of Trump’s strategy to attract young voters, particularly young men of color, who traditionally lean Democratic. Trump and his allies have also intensified their attacks on Kennedy, who is a vocal supporter of cryptocurrencies.

Kennedy’s reaction and Trump’s growing support

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Kennedy, whose first public appearance as a presidential candidate was at a Bitcoin conference in Miami, responded to Trump’s reversal by expressing approval. “I’m happy he did it, and I hope President Biden does, too,” Kennedy said at a recent conference in Texas.

In a special address on his 78th birthday, Trump reiterated his commitment to ending Biden’s “war on crypto.” He promised to ensure that the future of Bitcoin would be secured in America, particularly in Florida.

Trump’s consistent criticism of Biden

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This is not the first time Trump has criticized Biden for his stance on crypto. On May 26, he accused Biden of trying to “kill” the crypto industry, a sentiment he echoed in a May 25 post on Truth Social. Trump wrote,

Crooked Joe Biden… wants it to die a slow and painful death. That will never happen with me.

The financial and political implications

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Trump’s sudden embrace of cryptocurrencies comes as a strategic maneuver to tap into the lucrative and growing crypto market.

By aligning himself with the crypto industry, Trump aims to secure significant financial backing and voter support, enhancing his chances in the upcoming election.

His outreach to the crypto community is already paying dividends, with industry leaders pledging substantial financial and electoral support.

This move also positions Trump as a defender of technological innovation and financial freedom, contrasting with Biden’s more cautious approach.

As the 2024 election approaches, Trump’s new stance on crypto could prove to be a pivotal factor in his campaign, setting the stage for a highly competitive race against Biden and Kennedy.

Broader context of Trump’s strategy

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Trump’s engagement with the crypto industry reflects a broader strategy to appeal to younger voters and those invested in technological advancements.

By adopting a pro-crypto stance, Trump aims to differentiate himself from Biden and Kennedy, both of whom have varied views on the subject.

Trump’s campaign believes that embracing crypto can mobilize a new base of supporters who are passionate about financial innovation and autonomy.

This strategy also aligns with Trump’s history of leveraging business and economic policies to gain political traction.

What lies ahead

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The impact of Trump’s newfound support for cryptocurrencies will unfold in the coming months as the election campaign intensifies.

His ability to attract financial contributions and voter support from the crypto community will be critical in determining the success of this strategy.

As the political landscape evolves, Trump’s reversal on crypto underscores the dynamic nature of his campaign tactics.

Whether this move will translate into electoral success remains to be seen, but it undoubtedly adds a new dimension to the 2024 presidential race.

Observers and stakeholders will closely monitor how this shift influences voter sentiment and campaign dynamics, potentially reshaping the discourse around cryptocurrencies and their role in the future of American finance and politics.

Bitcoin Donald Trump Joe Biden USA USD Crypto Economic