Donald Trump Might Emerge as a Crypto Savior, US Congressman Hints

The GOP’s leading candidate in the coming presidential election turns up as a viable crypto industry ally. Once a Bitcoin critic, now an NFT “entrepreneur,” Donald Trump is likely to favor cryptocurrency deregulation, commentators claim.

Crypto Trump

Donald Trump has been a mercurial figure in many ways, including his stance on cryptocurrency. After a period of distrust followed by an interval of neutrality, the controversial ex-president and a candidate for reelection may reemerge as the new hope for the industry. This bold speculation is founded on several opinions cited by a recent Politico article envisaging Trump as a “crypto’s unexpected savior.”

Donald Trump: crypto-friendly or not?

Notably, Tom Emmer, one of Capitol Hill’s leading crypto proponents, suggested that the “president will be a lot more friendly to the crypto industry” should his second administration take place. House Majority Whip, who endorsed Trump earlier this month, is not alienated in this narrative.

Brian Brooks, a lawyer, technologist, ex-chief legal officer at Coinbase, and former Comptroller of the Currency under Trump, argues that people who would obtain regulatory roles in the republican government are “much more likely to at least be crypto-open, if not overtly crypto-friendly” than the present administration. Brooks also asserts that right-wingers are currently more concerned about monetary policy manipulations by the Fed than digital currencies, including CBDCs.

A similar view, if not the overall sentiment, regarding Trump’s inclination to favor crypto or at least give it more space to thrive is shared across the political spectrum. “The only reasonable expectation is that Trump will bring his overall financial deregulation mindset to the crypto arena,” said Dennis Kelleher, the president and CEO of Better Markets and a former Democratic senior staffer in the US Senate. “It’s going to be to the extreme disadvantage of investors and customers — and ultimately, in our view, for financial stability,” he added.

Donald Trump: “not a fan of Bitcoin” with $2.8 million ether holdings

Even though commentators seem to roughly agree on the crypto market perspectives under Trump, the GOP candidate’s approach to the cryptocurrency issue has been puzzling in recent years and probably adjusted to the political winds.

Initially, Trump didn’t engage in outright criticism of crypto assets. However, in 2016 and 2017, various government agencies under his administration, including the Treasury Department, were expressing concerns about the potential misuse of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities, which is hardly surprising.

In 2019, though, Trump stated point-blank that he was “not a fan of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies,” emphasizing that they’re not money. He further said they are “based on thin air,” adding that “unregulated crypto assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.” He went on to lash at Facebook’s Libra project, questioning its standing and dependability, to conclude by praising the “only one real currency in the USA”, namely the US dollar.

On a similar note, in 2021, Trump said that crypto is “very dangerous,” warning of “an explosion someday” that will “make the big tech explosion look like baby stuff.” Funnily enough, in the same interview for Fox Business, he discussed his wife’s NFT venture.

Even more amusing is the fact that in August 2023, the former US president disclosed crypto holdings of $2.8 million in ether (ETH) after debuting his own NFT collection.

Will Trump try to appease crypto voters?

Trump’s engagement with NFTs and the crypto space suggests a potential change in his perspective. Former SEC official John Reed Stark has argued that the former president could “dramatically” change his position on cryptocurrencies not least due to the fact that “crypto-voters might be one-issue voters and are a powerful and passionate constituency.”

Still, it’s too early to predict a significant shift in the regulatory climate for the crypto industry. Experts in Trump’s surrounding are calling for a lighter touch but not necessarily going in all the way. According to Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), an ex-ambassador to Japan now serving on the Senate Banking Committee, the idea is to streamline innovation “on American soil, rather than pushing it offshore.”