Screenshot of an excerpt from Trump’s campaign speech.

Donald Trump is now actively courting the votes of the crypto world – and he seems to be way ahead of the incumbent president. The US election in November could be the first to be decided by cryptocurrencies.

On Saturday, Donald Trump officially introduced himself as the crypto industry’s presidential candidate in a speech at the Libertarian National Convention in Washington DC. Among other things, he promised:

“…and I will also end Joe Biden’s crusade against crypto. We will stop that. I will ensure that the future of crypto and bitcoin is shaped in the US and does not migrate abroad. I will protect the right of self-custody for the 50 million crypto owners in our country. I will keep Elizabeth Warren and her minions out of your bitcoins. And I will never allow the creation of a central bank digital currency.”

The excerpt is telling. By mentioning self-custody, Trump is adopting the terminology of the industry and community. Self-custody is a key word for crypto, and it is currently under at least some fire in regulatory plans and court cases.

He also hits the liberal heart of the crypto community with another promise:

“And if you vote for me, I will commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, on the first day…” – here the speech is interrupted by about 20 seconds of cheering, peppered with shouts of “Free Ross!” – “… he has already served 11 years, we will bring him home.”

Ross Ulbricht, who ran the underground drug market Silk Road as Dread Pirate Roberts, was arrested in 2013 and sentenced to life imprisonment. The fact that Ulbricht was sentenced to a longer prison term than many other criminals and fraudsters for offering an online marketplace has long been lamented by Bitcoiners just as bitterly as the fate of Julian Assange. Trump promises to create a sense of justice here.

In the same speech, Trump also announced massive tax cuts, the end of the Green New Deal, the end of support for electric mobility and the tapping of new oil fields (“Drill Baby Drill”). Elsewhere, Trump raved about an unprecedented repatriation of migrants and an end to the war in Ukraine.

There are also many in the Bitcoin and crypto industry who would rather see Joe Biden in the White House than Donald Trump. But when it comes to crypto, Trump clearly makes better promises. Biden’s policies are not as hostile as sometimes portrayed – after all, the Bitcoin ETF was approved under him – but in the last six months in particular there have been numerous lawsuits, regulatory requests and political campaigns that are difficult to see in the scene as anything other than an attack.

If Trump is serious about his promises to protect self-custody and the power of the industry, for many it may justify the price of electing a president they would otherwise prefer not to have.

In addition, the well-proven psychological effect of coherence comes into play: when we see a positive aspect of something or a person, we tend to see the known disadvantages less clearly. Our brains form coherence. Many in the crypto world who oppose Donald Trump’s policies will now inevitably see the same policies in a brighter light, without anything having changed.

But Trump’s commitment to crypto is also apparently worthwhile financially. This is confirmed by none other than President Joe Biden. He recently called for donations because: “Crypto managers and oil barons are coming out of the undergrowth for Trump.” Trump’s fundraising campaign is millions of dollars ahead of the Democrats, also because he accepts Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

So it could actually happen as predicted: President Biden could become the first American president to lose the election because of his comparatively tough stance on crypto.

Everything is still open. But one thing is already clear – namely how far ahead the political crypto debate in the USA is than in Europe. There, it may decide who governs the country – here, it is not even the subject of a district election.

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