President-Elect Joe Biden and Crypto

The world woke up on Sunday to the news that Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, has won the election after beating the incumbent, Donald Trump, a first-term Republican, in a controversial election amid the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic.

Although there were no official statements regarding cryptocurrency by the former vice president, some of Biden supporters believe that he will seek reforms on tech policies, including cryptocurrency regulation.  

However, as at the time of writing this article, President Donald Trump is yet to concede defect citing irregularities marred in the election. Given the closeness of the election and the different controversies surrounding the election, we cannot say what will happen in the next few days. 

The crypto world was also affected when major news outlets announced Biden as the winner of the election. Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency, fell amid the prospect of a stable transition of power believed to be happening soon. 

According to Acheson, Director of Research at CoinDesk, “With a victory declared, the chaos factor reducing, the currency debasement theory will still hold, it might be delayed, but it is still intact. Acheson went further to predict that the Biden administration, together with a Republican Senate, will mean more straightforward monetary policy, which will mostly raise the value of assets with a finite supply. 

As of writing this article, Bitcoin’s price has already covered its momental dip and crossed the $16,000 mark for the first time since 2017.

Joe Bidens View on Cryptocurrency

Before the announcement of Joe Biden’s democratic presidential nominee, there has not been any official statement from him concerning cryptocurrency. As of now, President-elect Joe Biden doesn’t have any opinion or stated position on Bitcoin, neither does he owns any.

However, there is one incident that is worthy of note. If you follow the USA president-elect on Twitter, you will see that the July 15 Twitter account hacking incident affected the presidential nominee account. A surprising tweet from the former vice president offered to double any amount of Bitcoin sent to a specified account within 30 minutes as a way of “giving back to the community.”  

The tweet about Bitcoin by the president-elect generated a lot of controversy within minutes before being discovered that it was the work of hackers who had gotten access to Biden’s account along with other notable accounts, including politicians and celebrities. 

However, the tweet made Biden make its first official statement on Bitcoin to date, as seen below.

Barely 24 hours after the incident, the Bidens campaign tweeted, “I don’t have Bitcoin, and I’ll never ask you to send me any. But if you want to chip in to help make Donald Trump a one-time president, you can do that here”. However, the hope of people donating Bitcoin for his campaign was dashed when they discovered that the link only accepts US Dollars.  

Looking back at the days that the former vice president was in congress, the former VP has not spoken about cryptocurrency. However, a pro-Biden political action committee (PAC), Draft Biden 2016, accepted bitcoin donations back in 2015, although Biden didn’t run for the president’s office. Neither was the PAC officially connected to him. 

The incumbent president, Donald Trump, has made his position known that he is not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, citing crypto’s impact and influence on agencies under him. However, the next four years could significantly impact cryptocurrency in the USA and the world at large as the industry continues to surge at a faster pace.  

Kamala Harris’s View on Cryptocurrency

As with Joe Biden, there has not been any official statement from Kamala Harris, the United States’ Vice-President-elect and former Attorney General of California, regarding Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. However, according to Decrypt Media, the vice-presidential team includes Ryan Montoya, the former chief technology officer at the Sacramento Kings, who was in charge of the NBA team’s use of various blockchain-related tools and platforms. He is Harris Director of scheduling and advance and will have the ear of the VP. 

Outside of that, Harris has also won accolades from one notable crypto luminary who thinks that she could be the missing puzzle that will advance cryptocurrency’s growth. According to Tim Draper, an investor told CoinTelegraph in August that he has seen her in action in California and believes that she will see the potentials in cryptocurrency. Draper was quoted as saying, “I think she has a good head on her shoulders, so she can learn crypto” we should get her a bitcoin wallet if she doesn’t already have one. Outside of that, there has not been anything relating to cryptocurrency from the California senator. 

Bidens Team View on Cryptocurrency 

There are rumors by an analyst on Wall Street and Washington DC that the current US Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard is a leading contender for the position of US President-Elect Joe Bidens Treasury Secretary. Since Brainard made her official statement on the federal agencies’ role in exploring the implications of Blockchain technology five years ago, she has been the de facto spokesperson for the Central Bank on anything relating to Digital Currency, Blockchain, Stablecoin, and the central bank digital currencies. To date,  Brainard doesn’t see bitcoin as something good as money. However, it is clear that she knows how to bring regularity clarity to cryptocurrencies, Stablecoins, and Blockchains to the US market if the Biden administration decides to make cryptocurrency a top priority. 

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a former presidential candidate, has also been rumored as a potential candidate for Treasury Secretary’s position in the Biden Administration. However, Warren is highly known for her criticism of Wall Street excesses and helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Obama administration. However, Warren’s view has been on the potentials of consumers been scammed by shady ICOs or the consumers not understanding what they are actually buying. She was quoted as telling Yahoo Finance in 2018, “I’m worried about consumer’s getting hurt.”  

She was also quoted as saying, “The challenge is how to nurture productive aspects of crypto with protecting consumers” during a senate hearing in 2018. However, we don’t know if her view on cryptocurrency has changed since then. 

Another notable crypto savvy that is rumored to be part of the Biden administration is Gary Gensler, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under Obama. According to crypto experts, Gary will bring his knowledge in blockchain and cryptocurrency to the Biden administration, having taught Bitcoin and Blockchain courses in finance at MIT.

The $5 Million Donation to Biden Campaign

According to Wall Street Journals, the second-largest donation to former Vice president Joe Biden’s presidential campaign was made by Sam Bankman – Fried, the CEO of cryptocurrency derivative platform FTX. 

The Hong Kong-based CEO donated a total of $5.2 million, just behind the former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $56 million donations. While some media houses have pronounced Biden as the winner of the presidential election, the gifts may have proven effective in pushing Biden’s win. However, it is too early to conclude that he has won the election. However, we can say that the donation was helpful. It has made people have the notion that the donation might change Joe Biden’s stand on cryptocurrency (still an assumption). However, some view it as a form of lobbying for the upcoming administration to change their stance on cryptocurrency. 

Joe Biden’s Tax Plan Impact on Cryptocurrency

It is another avenue that can affect cryptocurrency. According to Chandan Lodha, “the CoinTracker co-founder, Biden’s proposed tax plan could affect crypto holders earning more than $400,000 annually. It could have an adverse effect on those earning more than $1 million or even more.

Biden’s proposed tax plan calls for an increase in taxes for people earning more than $400,000 yearly. It could impact on crypto earners who would see their income tax rate increase from 37% to 39.6% (for short term crypto capital gains)” that’s according to Lodha. 

However, Juan Aja Aguinaco, the co-founder of Shyft Network, thinks that Biden’s impact on cryptocurrency will depend on the support he gets from the senate and supreme court. Although, he thinks that cryptocurrency might benefit from the Bidens administration. 

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Written by:  Narender Charan

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