Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced last week that he would now be accepting bitcoin as part of his campaign fundraising efforts. “I am bullish on bitcoin, and I’m proud to accept bitcoin campaign donations,” Cruz told me in a discussion about the development.
Mayors in Miami and New York City, from both sides of the political aisle, elected to receive paychecks in bitcoin in the wake of the 2021 election season. This trend ignited a number of other mayors racing to follow suit.
Cruz’s bitcoin adoption is significant because it may help spark a similar trend. Earlier this year, multiple presidential candidates announced that they would be accepting bitcoin for campaign donations. If the move is successful, other politicians may very well do the same. This has the potential to trigger a shift in sentiment on Capitol Hill.
Pushing Towards A Bipartisan Bitcoin
Though republicans have been more vocal in their support for bitcoin, the phenomenon may actually be more bipartisan than people think. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) co-sponsored a crypto bill with Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). This attempt to legitimize the industry and clarify regulations in the summer of 2022 ultimately failed, however it is not an isolated incident.
For example, Representative Ritchie Torres (D-NY) published an essay in 2022 titled A liberal case for cryptocurrency. His article highlighted benefits to the poor and changing the balance of power with Wall Street. The essay followed a legislative attempt to bring clarity to crypto exchanges several months earlier.
Numerous politicians from diverse political backgrounds even spoke at the most recent Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami earlier this year. Featured speakers included current and former presidential candidates Tulsi Gabbard, Robert Kennedy, and Vivek Ramaswamy.
Bitcoin, DC, and Central Bank Digital Currencies
Despite bitcoin’s bipartisan support, many politicians remain unconvinced as the Biden Administration pushes for a Central Bank Digital Currency. Cruz alluded to the growing importance of bitcoin in a discussion on CBDCs during a recent podcast interview released in the post below.
It appears that Cruz may view CBDCs as a continuation of the failed efforts behind the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better bill. In the interview, he said that Build Back Better would have required banks to report every transaction above $400 to the government.
Cruz’s concerns revolve around the level of control and surveillance that CBDCs would allow. “The federal government has no business monitoring the financial transactions of a free people,” he concluded.
The CATO institute found that 74% of Americans oppose CBDCs as a replacement for dollars. The resistance to CBDCs could help drive support in the bitcoin space as people seek to avoid creeping financial control.
Advocates like Cruz hope that as more people begin to realize the value of bitcoin in the face of this growing threat, more legislators will join the fight to support it. Until then, Washington may remain intransigent in their opinions.