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Can the crypto industry trust Donald Trump?

can-the-crypto-industry-trust-donald-trump
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Features
Can the crypto industry trust Donald Trump?

Donald Trump has raised millions after staging a complete U-turn on his opposition to Bitcoin. What’s to say he wouldn’t reverse his position again if re-elected?

With less than five months to go until the U.S. election, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are rapidly building up campaign war chests to woo undecided voters.

Both candidates have to regularly disclose how much money they’ve raised, and May’s figures were particularly illuminating.

Biden, who’s vying for re-election as a Democrat, managed to drum up $85 million last month. But Trump, the Republican nominee seeking a White House return, raised $141 million.

In the surest sign yet that America’s political landscape is shifting substantially, a large chunk of the contributions Trump received were immediately after he became a convicted felon.

Beyond these headline numbers, there’s another interesting dynamic at play: the crypto community’s huge donations to the Trump campaign.

Last week, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss — founders of the Gemini exchange — made a huge splash when they gave $1 million in Bitcoin each to the former president.

Tyler accompanied this with a detailed explanation of why he was throwing his support behind Trump.

After accusing the Biden administration of declaring war on crypto and staging “an unprecedented abuse of power,” he warned “it’s time for the crypto army to send a message to Washington.”

“President Donald J. Trump is the pro-Bitcoin, pro-crypto, and pro-business choice. This is not even remotely open for debate. Anyone who tells you otherwise is severely misinformed, delusional, or not telling the truth. It’s time to take our country back.”

Tyler Winklevoss

A fascinating plot twist soon followed — one that shows extremely deep-pocketed crypto industry heavyweights face limitations with their campaign contributions.

A day after the twins made their endorsement, it was revealed that they had received a partial refund because their donations exceeded the limits allowed under federal law.

Rules state that the Trump campaign can only accept $844,600 from one individual, and that meant Cameron and Tyler each ended up receiving $155,400 back.

When June’s figures are confirmed, we’ll also discover how Trump’s newfound passion for cryptocurrencies is delivering a substantial boost to his campaign coffers.

Can the crypto industry trust Donald Trump? - 1

A few weeks ago, Reuters reported that the Republican nominee had raised $12 million at an event attended by a number of prominent crypto executives.

Trump wasted little time in warning that senior Democrats are “going after crypto” — and once again positioned himself as the only candidate who would help the industry to thrive.

But there’s an interesting contradiction here that’s worth unpacking. A few short years ago, Trump was on the record describing Bitcoin as a “scam” — and the wider crypto market as a “disaster waiting to happen.” 

“I don’t like [Bitcoin] because it’s another currency competing against the dollar.”

Donald Trump in 2021

Trump is now calling for all remaining BTC to be mined in the U.S. — a screeching U-turn if ever there was one. Yet despite this, he’s still warning that the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency is in peril, and greater action is needed to protect the greenback. Calling the growing threat of de-dollarization “a tragedy,” he told the All In podcast:

“We’re losing a lot of countries on the dollar. I mean they’re going like flies. If we ever lose that, that’s the equivalent of losing a war that would be unbelievable.”

Donald Trump in 2024

This really seems to be the equivalent of having your cake and eating it. Can you champion Bitcoin and its values while also lobbying for the dollar to retain its influence? 

Trump’s flip-flopping has also extended to other issues, prompting MSNBC opinion writer Zeeshan Aleem to describe the presidential candidate as “transactional.” 

A good example of this is TikTok. While he had once aggressively banged the drum for the U.S. to ban this social network, he’s now come out against this self-same policy because it would only hand greater power to Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.

And while Trump appeared to have expressed support for a boycott of Bud Light, he changed his tune after the beer brand’s parent company hosted a fundraiser for his campaign — and said Anheuser-Busch “perhaps deserves a second chance.” 

“The Bud Light ad was a mistake of epic proportions, and for that a very big price was paid, but Anheuser-Busch is not a Woke company.”

Donald Trump on Truth Social

Confronted with several legal headaches and eye-wateringly high legal bills, it’s clear Trump is trying to get his hands on as much money as possible — and that involves winning round those with the deepest pockets.

But if he’s done a complete 180 on his crypto stance before, what’s to say he won’t do it again if he makes it back into the White House?

As Moe Vela, a former senior adviser to Joe Biden told crypto.news:

“[Trump] has a clear and blatant track record of saying what his audience wants to hear and only that which is politically calculated.  For anyone in our crypto industry to fall for it is astonishing.  His comments on crypto are literally a complete reversal of just a year or two ago, it’s just political bluster.”

Moe Vela