Cryptocurrency is firmly on the agenda in the 2020 presidential race (and no, I’m not talking about John McAfee). Pro-bitcoin candidate Andrew Yang is quietly rising through the stacked Democrat field as a serious contender for the White House.
In a keynote speech at the Consensus conference yesterday, he doubled down on his crypto agenda.
“If I’m in the White House, oh boy are we going to have some fun in terms of the cryptocurrency community.”
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) May 15, 2019
ANDREW YANG: MAKING BITCOIN A 2020 CAMPAIGN ISSUE
Yang might be preaching to the converted at Consensus, but he’s taking his pro-bitcoin stance on the campaign trail. He published a clear manifesto on bitcoin regulation as part of his campaign. He pledges to:
“Create clear guidelines in the digital asset world so that businesses and individuals can invest and innovate in the area without fear of a regulatory shift.”
Yang has opened up his platform to bitcoin and cryptocurrency donations. He even tweeted about bitcoin as far back as 2013:
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) December 7, 2013
Speaking to Bloomberg, he said consumer protection is also a key issue. “We just need to provide rules of the road.” He was also critical of the New York BitLicense which “has had a chilling effect on the US digital asset market.”
IS YANG A SERIOUS CONTENDER?
Andrew Yang is definitely a long-shot in a field led by elder statesmen Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. But Yang has garnered a huge following online after appearances on the Joe Rogan podcast and others. As Time reports, his online following is beginning to turn into huge real world crowds.
We are polling at 3%, have raised over $3 million, and only a small percentage of people have heard of us. As more people find out about this campaign and the trickle-up economy there will be no stopping us. We can go all the way. pic.twitter.com/v1d1pRFzuA
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) May 14, 2019
Some polls put him at 3 percent, higher than some established names in the Democrat party. His appeal with younger voters is sparking a grassroots campaign that could see him rise in the field.
Yang has secured the necessary 65,000 donors, allowing him to appear in the early debates. It means, for the first time, we might see bitcoin debated on a national political stage.
Despite his pro-bitcoin stance, Yang won’t be embraced universally by the crypto community. Many in the space, including op-ed writers at CS, are opposed to Yang’s flagship universal basic income proposal. The campaign promises “every American over the age of 18 will receive $1,000/month.”
Universal Basic Income is a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all citizens, without means-test or work requirement. Everyone gets the same amount of cash: the homeless and the billionaire. No questions asked. Forever. pic.twitter.com/VhiitjoRzR
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) November 20, 2018
Yang has also made “Medicare for all” a guiding principle of his campaign. The outsider is gaining traction among young Democrat voters who are disillusioned with the party’s establishment figures. As one 22-year-old said:
“Everybody else in the race, they all have pretty much the same exact ideas, and I don’t really know why you would vote for Joe Biden versus like Beto O’Rourke… [Yang is] actually talking about real problems.”
As the Democrat field expands to bursting point, Yang is making cutting through the noise and putting bitcoin firmly on the agenda. A bitcoiner in the White House? Maybe not yet, but with Yang in the race we can expect cryptocurrencies to be a key talking point in the 2020 campaign.