Posted March 29, 2023
By Chris Campbell
Crypto Gets Political
There is something very unique about crypto that you may not have noticed.
Among all the issues being discussed in Congress, crypto holds a certain quality that nothing else seems to.
There isn't a standard “Republican take” or a “Democrat argument” for or against crypto technology. For as long as the issue of crypto regulation has been kicking around Capitol Hill, this is pretty remarkable.
The current House Majority Whip is Congressman Tom Emmer, a Republican from Minnesota, and arguably the biggest crypto advocate in Washington.
Republican Congressman Warren Davidson of Ohio was dubbed the “Crypto Congressman” by Bitcoin Magazine in 2016.
Crypto also has advocates on the left side of the aisle, including Senator Ron Wyden who has introduced several bills and amendments aimed at strengthening freedoms around the internet and crypto.
While opinions around crypto are clearly heated, it’s unique in that they have nothing to do with your political leanings.
But that might be about to change…
A Line In The Sand
After many years of politicians having their own individual opinions about crypto, it seems like they may finally have to pick a side.
The development of an American Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) has led to some big - and previously uninterested - names choosing to plant their flag publicly on what side they stand.
Representative Emmer has already stood opposed to CBDCs, but now the much louder and flashier hats of Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Governor / 2024 Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis have been thrown into the ring.
What does this mean?
Will Senator Cruz’s campaign against Joe Biden’s digital dollar leave an American CBDC dead-on-arrival?
To see how effective the Texas senator is at passing legislation, let’s take a look at what bills he had sponsored THAT eventually went on to become law during his 10 years in Congress…
- April 18, 2014 - A bill to deny admission to the United States to any representative to the United Nations who has been found to have been engaged in espionage activities or a terrorist activity against the United States and poses a threat to United States national security interests.
- March 21st. 2017 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017. A bill authorizing the fiscal activity of NASA between 2017 and 2020.
- January 5th, 2023 - A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 5302 Galveston Road in Houston, Texas, as the "Vanessa Guillen Post Office Building".
Actually passing legislation hasn’t exactly been the main focus of Ted Cruz, who remains one of the most well known and (in his own way) effective Senators in Congress.
What Cruz is good at is riling people up - both his co-workers and Liberal voters - and turning small issues into big issues.
So the question is…
Is crypto about to become a wedge issue in America?
Are CBDC’s Even Crypto?
Before we go any further, you may be wondering…
Is a Central Bank Digital Currency even “crypto”?
From one point of view, absolutely.
From another, not at all.
Blockchain technology is being used to develop every CBDC worldwide.
eAUD, the digital currency being developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia, is even being developed using Ethereum technology.
In terms of 1’s and 0’s, CBDC’s are 100% crypto.
From an ideology standpoint, CBDC’s are 0% crypto.
Bitcoin’s mission statement was to take power away from banks, and to stop governments from controlling your money.
You control your own money.
Central Bank Digital Currencies are extremely centralized (surprise surprise) and give complete control to the banks.
To put it simply: CBDC’s are a photo negative of crypto.
Babies And Bathwater
If it wasn’t clear from Representative Emmer’s opposition to CBDC's - the crypto community at large doesn’t particularly care for the government co-opting its technology.
So if crypto doesn’t want to be associated with the Treasury’s version of a cryptocurrency, why should we worry about a political divide down the middle of crypto?
The fact is, most people don’t care enough to make the distinction.
And once a narrative takes over, there’s no stopping it.
Based on the common assumption that FTX was a “crypto scam”, despite it being a good old fashioned fraud scheme, tells you everything you need to know about the general population’s willingness to write off crypto.
If the narrative that President Biden is pro-crypto (he’s not) and Senator Cruz is anti-crypto (he’s not), then that’s what we’ll be hearing through the 2024 election season.
Which Side Are You On?
Why does this matter?
You already know how you feel about crypto and its future.
How cable news tells you to feel about it won’t make a lick of difference.
So what changes if and when crypto becomes a wedge issue?
It depends on the point of view…
- Crypto’s potential for mass adoption - A double-edged sword. Crypto will get a lot more mainstream airtime, increasing overall attention dramatically. Unfortunately half of it will be negative.
- Advancement of technology - No effect whatsoever. The beauty of crypto is that it doesn’t care about American politics, it doesn’t recognize borders, and it will power on. Somewhere.
- America taking advantage of crypto breakthroughs - Oof…
… if you haven’t noticed already. There’s one thing that the Legislative Branch of the United States government is bad at, it’s legislating.
They’re built to argue. To not give ground. To kick around the same issues for decades, accomplishing nothing.
So if crypto does end up in Wedge Issue Purgatory, all we can do is offer America’s crypto regulation this classic prayer…
May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.