In a recent public event, the United States presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., spoke at length about his views on cryptocurrencies and how he became interested in Bitcoin. He added that the freedom to transact is as important as freedom of expression and this is particularly what aroused his interest in Bitcoin.
Speaking at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami, the Democratic lawmaker said that the COVID pandemic was the time that fueled his understanding and likeness for Bitcoin. He explained that Canada’s decision to clamp down on truck drivers protesting the pandemic restrictions by freezing bank accounts drove his understanding of Bitcoin’s value.
The event marked Kennedy’s first public appearance as a candidate and the conference’s most anticipated event of the week. Reportedly, almost every seat at Bitcoin 2023’s main “Nakamoto Stage” was filled ahead of his keynote address. He started his address as:
When I witnessed this cataclysm—this devastating use of government repression—I realized for the first time how free money is as important to freedom as free expression.
Notably, Kennedy has been an outspoken critic of several government-run programs including vaccine mandates. He said supporting Bitcoin is both an “exercise and a guarantee” of civil liberties he’s committed to protecting, pledging to protect crypto’s top coin. Furthermore, he stated:
Bitcoin is a bulwark against precisely this kind of government and corporate expansion and intrusion. As president, I will make sure that your right to hold and use Bitcoin is inviolable.
Additionally, Kennedy did not stop there and contradicted his stance with the current U.S. president. He targeted Biden’s proposed 30% excise tax on cryptocurrency miners, claiming it requires an “invasive surveillance apparatus to monitor what is happening in individual computers” and sets a bad precedent.
However, the Democratic lawmaker wasn’t the only one to aim for Biden’s proposed miner tax in the session. His views aligned with that of Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), who was also attending the event.
Senator Lummis, who has been one of Bitcoin’s biggest advocates of cryptocurrencies on Capitol Hill, was attending the Bitcoin conference stage for a fireside chat with Chamber of Digital Commerce’s founder and CEO Perianne Boring about the U.S. legislative landscape surrounding Bitcoin.
Lummis supported Boring’s view that the tax not only affects Bitcoin mining but also has unintended consequences for the country’s national security and said that Biden’s mining tax is not going to happen. She added that “miners can mine anywhere,” but allowing Bitcoin mining to proliferate in the states is not only a matter of national security but also an issue of energy security.
Bitcoin is something that is just so consistent with American values that we need to make sure it is protected, nurtured, and allowed to innovate here in the United States.
Reportedly, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, was expected to speak alongside Lummis but could not attend because of debt ceiling negotiations as reported by the host in the session.
Both leaders have been big supporters of cryptocurrencies and have advocated for their use of it in numerous instances. A few days back, Kennedy had supported Bitcoin and had criticized the use of CBDCs citing the reasons for choice and control.
In general, it was found that the leaders of both political parties were very divided on their views regarding the use of crypto in the nation. Interestingly, with Kennedy’s view supporting Bitcoin and his being nominated as the presidential candidate, there is a rising hope among the masses for the future of crypto in the country.