Election Update: While the Field Dwindles, the Bitcoin Spotlight Brightens

Will Ogden Moore
Last Update 02/14/2024

Following President Biden’s “laser eyes” Super Bowl post[1], it felt like a timely update for our election tracking. With last month’s approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States, the crypto asset class is arguably more relevant than ever — especially in the context of the US presidential election. In this election cycle, for the first time ever, the crypto asset class was mentioned in an American presidential primary debate.[2] A survey recently conducted by Harris Poll on Grayscale’s behalf underscores this political relevance, as half of young voters, who own crypto at a higher rate than equities, are considering candidate positions on crypto before casting their votes.

As Bitcoin rallies towards its highest price[3] in two years just weeks before a pivotal Super Tuesday in March, where do each of the candidates stand in relation to the crypto asset class?

Since our last post on election candidates, the field has narrowed substantially. As of February 12th, there are four major party candidates left: President Joe Biden (Democrat), Dean Phillips (Democrat), former President Donald Trump (Republican), and Nikki Haley (Republican). In addition, outside of the two major parties, polls have Independent Robert F Kennedy Jr. as a potential competitor, polling at above 10% in the general election.[4]

2024 US Presidential Election Candidate Statements on Crypto[5]

President Biden is currently polling at 71% of his party, as of February 13th. Biden’s administration signed an executive order on ensuring the responsible development of digital assets. Additionally, Biden is favorable towards exploring a CBDC and has proposed a 30% tax on the cost of electricity to mine Bitcoin.[18] Meanwhile, Democratic challenger and late entrant Dean Phillips (currently polling at 4%) advocates for a “nuanced understanding” and “balanced regulatory approach” with regards to crypto,[19] wanting to ensure that regulations don’t stifle crypto innovation.[20]

A number of Republican candidates dropped out of the race in January. Notably, staunch advocate for the crypto asset class Vivek Ramaswamy ended his campaign and subsequently endorsed Trump (currently polling at 75% in the Republican primaries) . The former President then adopted a negative stance towards CBDC in late January, crediting Ramaswamy for crypto policy guidance.[21] Though Trump called Bitcoin and crypto a “scam” as President in 2019, he has since released a set of digital collectibles on the Bitcoin blockchain, inscribing images of his mugshot as Ordinals[22]. Still, it remains to be seen whether his policy shift on CBDCs or willingness to use blockchain technology will extend towards a change of tune towards the crypto asset class as a whole.[23] In parallel, Republican candidate Nikki Haley (currently polling at 17%) has not publicly shared her opinion on crypto.[24]

Meanwhile, Independent Robert Kennedy Jr. has called crypto a “major innovation engine.”[25] He previously unveiled a plan to “exempt Bitcoin from capital gains taxes,” and spoke at the Bitcoin 2023 Conference. Though he is probably the most vocal proponent of the crypto asset class among remaining candidates, his path to victory remains unclear, as an Independent has not won a US Presidential election in modern history.[26]

In addition to becoming a part of national political discourse, Bitcoin itself has seen increased momentum, and is up over 118% in the past year.[27] Looking ahead, Grayscale believes Bitcoin could continue to have tailwinds, including potential Fed rate cuts and the anticipated Bitcoin halving in April. As we approach the November election, it will be fascinating to see if these tailwinds have an impact on the political spotlight cast on Bitcoin and the crypto asset class, especially in the context of timely global and national macro events. At Grayscale, we will be tracking these developments and how voters’ thoughts evolve, so please subscribe to keep apprised of updates.

[1] Coin Telegraph

[2] Coin Telegraph

[3] Forbes

[4] Poll.qu.edu

[5] For Major party candidates, includes those polling above 1% in primaries according to Five Thirty Eight. For Independents, includes candidates that project at greater than 5% polling in the general election according to Quinnipiac University.

[6] Investopedia

[7] Whitehouse.gov

[8] Whitehouse.gov

[9] Five Thirty Eight

[10] Crypto Town Hall

[11] Five Thirty Eight

[12] Five Thirty Eight

[13] Coindesk

[14] Coindesk

[15] The Street

[16] X Post

[17] The Street

[18] Whitehouse.gov

[19] Tech News 180

[20] Coindesk

[21] Coindesk

[22] Be in Crypto

[23] Barrons

[24] Coin Telegraph

[25] Coin Telegraph

[26] TBS News

[27] Coinmarketcap

Related content

Important Information

Investments in digital assets are speculative investments that involve high degrees of risk, including a partial or total loss of invested funds. Investments in digital assets are not suitable for any investor that cannot afford loss of the entire investment.

All content is original and has been researched and produced by Grayscale Investments, LLC (“Grayscale”) unless otherwise stated herein. No part of this content may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without the express consent of Grayscale.

This information should not be relied upon as research, investment advice, or a recommendation regarding any products, strategies, or any investment in particular. This material is strictly for illustrative, educational, or informational purposes and is subject to change. This content does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to sell or buy any security in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation would be illegal. There is not enough information contained in this content to make an investment decision and any information contained herein should not be used as a basis for this purpose.

This content does not constitute a recommendation or take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations, or needs of investors.

Investors are not to construe this content as legal, tax or investment advice, and should consult their own advisors concerning an investment in digital assets. The price and value of assets referred to in this content and the income from them may fluctuate. Past performance is not indicative of the future performance of any assets referred to herein. Fluctuations in exchange rates could have adverse effects on the value or price of, or income derived from, certain investments.

Certain of the statements contained herein may be statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on Grayscale’s views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance, or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. In addition to statements that are forward-looking by reason of context, the words “may, will, should, could, can, expects, plans, intends, anticipates, believes, estimates, predicts, potential, projected, or continue” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Grayscale assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein and you should not place undue reliance on such statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Although Grayscale has taken reasonable care to ensure that the information contained herein is accurate, no representation or warranty (including liability towards third parties), expressed or implied, is made by Grayscale as to its accuracy, reliability, or completeness. You should not make any investment decisions based on these estimates and forward-looking statements.

There is no guarantee that the market conditions during the past period will be present in the future. Rather, it is most likely that the future market conditions will differ significantly from those of this past period, which could have a materially adverse impact on future returns. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFITS OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN. PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. We selected the timeframe for our analysis because we believe it broadly constitutes the most complete historical dataset for the digital assets that we have chosen to analyze.