Reading Time: 3 minutes

Campaigns for the United Stated 2020 general election are beginning to heat up. According to Odds Shark, currently Donald Trump is the favorite to win the Republican nomination, and Joe Biden is the favorite to win the Democratic nomination. While the two front-runners are somewhat clear at this time, many other candidates are attempting to make an impact across the Nation. Currently, two Democratic presidential candidates have spoken out in favor of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and further clarification across the regulatory aspect of the entire environment. These two presidential candidates would be Andrew Yang, an infamous supporter of UBI, or universal basic income, and Eric Swalwell, a Representative for California’s 15th district. 

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang recently attended and spoke at the Consensus event in New York. Andrew Yang took the stage at consensus and spoke about “the declining influence of the traditional media, the threat of climate change, his Freedom Dividend pitch” according to Nikhilesh De at CoinDesk. Nikhilesh goes on to say that Andrew Yang pitched that he is “The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian candidate who likes math” which was well received with some laughter among the crowd. Nikhilesh from CoinDesk reported that “Yang essentially pitched himself as a sympathetic friend of the crypto community in an appearance that came weeks after his campaign issued a policy statement on digital asset regulation.” 

Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang sat down with Neeraj Agrawal, Director of Communications for Coin Center to speak at consensus. Yang opened his dialog at consensus with his presidential pitch, detailing how his “Freedom dividend” of $1,000 per month to all Americans age 18+ would help those who are slowly losing their jobs to automation and artificial intelligence. Yang then discussed the cryptocurrency market landscape for the past five years, and how some of his friends in the industry have had some decent success. With some comments about Joe Rogan and the importance of non-traditional media outlets, Yang stated once he makes appearances on some larger networks and shows that “the conventional media is not going to know what the heck is happening, and they already don’t know what’s happening.” Yang goes on to mention how he is out-polling a bunch of sitting senators and governors, and how he is polling 3% in South Carolina, somewhere he has never been. 

In relation to specific cryptocurrency policies, Yang stated that the general uncertainty is without a doubt a problem for innovators and builders in the environment as a whole. Commenting on the current regulatory environment, Yang said that it is a “nightmare” to have a state by state framework. Yang goes on to say that he feels the government “owes” the innovators some clarity and how he would hope to provide clarity given the opportunity.  

Presidential candidate Eric Swalwell is also accepting cryptocurrency donations for his campaign efforts, using a company called “The White Company. ” The White Company is assisting this cryptocurrency donation acceptance and essentially is the money processor for these transactions. Swalwell will accept Bitcoin, bitcoin cash, bitcoin SV, Ethereum, and Stellar, which will all have real-time USD liquidity through The White Company’s stablecoin WSD. In a short video released by Swalwell, he stated that “blockchain can change the world – if we let it” realizing the technological innovation that is taking place. Swalwell also went on to state that the “Government has to keep up with the times, and the times have change” and how “we must study, but ultimately embrace these new frontiers.” 

While these are only two candidates out of many, it is still impactful that they have decided to accept cryptocurrency donations as part of their campaign efforts. Not only does it raise general awareness about cryptocurrencies and innovative technologies, but it also helps shape public perception of these innovations and give the field a certain level of legitimacy. As a whole right now, the public perception of cryptocurrencies is generally pretty uneducated, so seeing these candidates who are businessmen and representatives openly supporting these new technologies is encouraging for future perception. While two candidates may not seem like an overly significant amount, it is undoubtedly a positive step toward a cryptographic future. 

Sources:

–   https://www.coindesk.com/the-consensus-2019-keynote-videos-are-now-live

–   https://www.oddsshark.com/other/2020-usa-presidential-odds-futures

–   https://www.coindesk.com/andrew-yang-neeraj-agarwal-consensus-2019

–   https://finance.yahoo.com/news/2020-candidate-eric-swalwell-follows-andrew-yang-in-accepting-crypto-donations-115257642.html