Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has officially announced his candidacy for the 2024 United States presidential election, and he has made a notable promise to “protect” Bitcoin if elected. During his announcement, which was live-streamed on Twitter and moderated by venture capitalist David Sacks, Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, joined DeSantis and approximately 520,000 live listeners.
DeSantis expressed his commitment to preserving the ability to engage in activities related to Bitcoin, acknowledging that there are risks involved but emphasizing that those interested in the cryptocurrency are sophisticated and capable of making their own decisions. He criticized the politicians in Washington, referring to them as “central planners” who desire control over society, suggesting that their aversion to Bitcoin stems from their inability to manipulate or regulate it. According to DeSantis, these politicians view Bitcoin as a threat and are attempting to regulate it out of existence.
Florida’s governor also alluded to the ongoing jurisdictional battle involving the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and cryptocurrencies. Gary Gensler, the current chair of the SEC, has claimed authority over the crypto space. DeSantis argued that since Congress has never addressed cryptocurrencies, the SEC has taken it upon itself to regulate the industry, hindering people’s ability to operate in that space.
Florida Governor on crypto regulation
DeSantis expressed his reluctance to exert control over everything individuals do in the cryptocurrency space, criticizing the current regulatory regime for its hostility towards Bitcoin. He also suggested that if President Joe Biden were to be re-elected in 2024, the regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies under his administration would likely be detrimental to the industry.
In May, DeSantis signed an anti-central bank digital currency (CBDC) bill in Florida, prohibiting the use of a federal CBDC as money and banning the use of foreign CBDCs.
While the 2024 presidential election is still a few years away, it is anticipated that DeSantis will compete against former President Donald Trump and other contenders in the Republican Party’s primary debates, scheduled to begin in August.
Other presidential candidates from both parties have also shown support for Bitcoin. Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. referred to Bitcoin as a “symbol of democracy and freedom” during a speech at the Bitcoin 2023 conference. Kennedy became the first presidential candidate in U.S. history to accept campaign donations in Bitcoin, followed shortly after by Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.