Ron DeSantis, the current governor of Florida, has officially announced his candidacy for the 2024 United States presidential race and has promised to “protect” Bitcoin (BTC) if elected.
On May 24, Twitter CEO Elon Musk joined DeSantis and around 520,000 live listeners in the Twitter broadcast of his announcement, which was moderated by venture capitalist David Sacks.
“As president, we’ll protect the ability to do things like Bitcoin,” said DeSantis. He added “there’s risks involved with it,” but the people interested in the cryptocurrency “are sophisticated” and “can make decisions.”
“You have every right to do Bitcoin. The only reason these people in Washington don’t like it, is because they don’t control it.”
DeSantis called those on Capitol Hill “central planners” who “want to have control over society.”
“Bitcoin represents a threat to them, so they’re trying to regulate it out of existence,” he said.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 24, 2023
The Florida governor also addressed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s jurisdictional battle over cryptocurrencies.
Gary Gensler, the current chair of the securities regulator, has claimed authority over the crypto space.
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DeSantis said as Congress had “never addressed” cryptocurrencies, “the bureaucracy” — likely referencing the SEC — had “to just do it on their own” and made it so “that people can not operate in that space.”
“I just don’t have an itch to have to control everything that people may be doing in this space, and I think that the current regime — clearly they have it out for Bitcoin.”
He added if President Joe Biden is re-elected for another four years in 2024, the regulatory regime for crypto under his administration will “probably end up killing it.”
In May, DeSantis passed an anti-central bank digital currency (CBDC) bill in Florida that prohibits the use of a federal CBDC as money, along with banning the use of foreign CBDCs.
There’s still a way to go before the United States heads to the polls in November 2024. It’s likely DeSantis will face off against former President Donald Trump and others at the first GOP presidential primary debate in the 2024 cycle, slated for August.
Other White House hopefuls have stepped forward to support the cryptocurrency. Democratic presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. called Bitcoin a “symbol of democracy and freedom” in a speech at the Bitcoin 2023 conference.
Kennedy was also the first presidential candidate in U.S. history to accept campaign donations in Bitcoin, joined days later by Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.
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