Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood Plans to Back Trump for President

Wood specifically referred to the economic achievements of the first three years of the Trump administration as the reason for her decision.

Cathie Wood, the CEO of Ark Invest, publicly shared that she will be voting for Trump in the upcoming U.S. elections. She clarified that her decision is based on the economic achievements of the first three years of the Trump administration. Wood’s announcement came amid widespread criticism of President Joe Biden's regulatory stance on digital assets. Meanwhile, the Winklevoss twins recently turned heads in the crypto space by donating millions to Trump’s campaign. However, their donations were returned after exceeding federal donation limits. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also recently promised to free Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht if he gets elected. 

Cathie Wood Chooses Trump

Cathie Wood, CEO of Ark Invest, publicly announced that she plans to vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election. Wood spoke at a Las Vegas conference that was organized by financial content creator Kevin Paffrath.

At the conference, Wood stated that her focus on voting during the election will be based on economic benefits. She explained that her vote is driven by who she believes will best support the economy, and on that basis, she has chosen Trump. 

Wood praised the economic achievements of the first three years of the Trump administration, before the COVID-19 pandemic. She also specifically mentioned economist Arthur Laffer’s assessment of this period as the best in U.S. economic history. 

Wood's support for Trump aligns with her long-standing advocacy for the crypto industry. Despite Trump's recent strong support for crypto, Ark Invest has been a pioneer in this space for a while now. 

In 2015, the company’s ARK Web x.0 ETF became the first ETF to invest in Bitcoin (BTC). Since then, Ark Invest expanded its crypto investments by buying shares in companies like Coinbase.

Crypto Takes Center Stage in 2024 Election

As the U.S. presidential election approaches, President Joe Biden and his administration have faced a lot of criticism from crypto holders and Democratic lawmakers for their regulatory stance on digital assets. Though Biden has rarely spoken publicly about crypto, his administration has made some major moves in this area. 

Early in his term, he nominated Gary Gensler as chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who is now notorious for his enforcement actions against crypto firms like Ripple, Coinbase, and Kraken. While Gensler has promoted a “come in and talk to us” approach, many companies have criticized the SEC for inconsistent enforcement. 

Additionally, in March of 2022, Biden signed an executive order to establish a regulatory framework for digital assets, and in 2024, he vetoed a resolution to overturn an SEC accounting rule that affects banks and crypto.

Many in the crypto community also blame Biden for the Democratic Party’s resistance to pro-crypto legislation. One example of this is Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is very vocal in her strong opposition to digital assets. 

In contrast, former President Donald Trump’s stance on crypto has certainly changed a lot over the years. He was initially very dismissive and critical of digital assets, and labeled Bitcoin as “not money” and “based on thin air” during his presidency. However, after leaving office, his opinions changed. Trump’s campaign has since embraced crypto, and he is even accepting crypto donations and advocating for all remaining Bitcoin to be mined in the United States.

Now, analysts suggest that Biden may also be shifting his stance to appeal to crypto voters. Biden’s campaign may potentially accept Bitcoin donations and is working with Congress on alternative crypto legislation. 

As the election crawls closer, President Biden and former President Trump are preparing for their first presidential debate on Jun. 27. Election Day is set for Nov. 5, but Trump still has to face sentencing on Jul. 11, just before the Republican National Convention. Nonetheless, the outcome of the election will have a massive impact on the direction of crypto regulation and adoption in the United States.

Winklevoss Twins Exceed Donation Limit

Meanwhile, Gemini co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss had their donations to former President Donald Trump’s election campaign returned after their Bitcoin contributions exceeded the federal legal limit. Bloomberg reported that the excess amount was refunded, though it is still unclear if the refund was in Bitcoin or its cash equivalent. 

On Jun. 20, the twins announced that they will be making donations for Trump’s campaign  totaling $2 million in Bitcoin. This is much higher than the $844,600 legal limit per individual donation. 

The Winklevoss brothers have already contributed around $5 million to pro-Trump PACs, and also reportedly attended a high-cost fundraiser for Trump.

Meanwhile, the Gemini exchange has faced challenges with its Gemini Earn program, run in collaboration with the now-bankrupt crypto lender Genesis Global. New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a $2 billion settlement with Genesis to resolve investor fraud claims that require Genesis to return funds and cease operations in New York. 

Gemini agreed in February to return at least $1.1 billion to customers as part of a settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services. The SEC also sued Gemini and Genesis over Gemini Earn, and Genesis has since settled.

RFK Jr. Vows to Free Silk Road Founder if Elected

Trump and Biden are not the only politicians who are courting the crypto community. United States presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced on social media that he would free Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht if he gets elected this November. Kennedy also criticized the severity of Ulbricht’s two life sentences for hosting an e-commerce platform and even shared a petition demanding his release.

Kennedy’s support for the blockchain revolution extends beyond campaign rhetoric. In 2023, he proposed backing the U.S. dollar with Bitcoin and eliminating capital gains tax on the digital asset to stabilize the global reserve currency. Kennedy also revealed that he bought BTC for each of his seven children after he was accused of promoting an asset he didn’t own.

However, Kennedy is against the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), mostly due to privacy concerns and flaws in the traditional banking system. He is not alone in this opinion as Trump has also opposed a CBDC. 

More recently, Kennedy proposed placing the entire U.S. fiscal budget on the blockchain to improve  transparency, efficiency, and accountability. Many see this as a very bold idea, especially considering no other U.S. politician has proposed anything similar.

Italy Ramps Up Crypto Market Oversight

While U.S. politicians compete to win the favor of the crypto community, Italy is taking a different approach. Italy plans to intensify its surveillance of the crypto markets as part of its compliance with the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework. 

The new regulations are aimed at stopping insider trading and market manipulation. It can also impose fines ranging from 5,000 to 5 million euros depending on the severity of violations.

The MiCA framework was first passed in 2022, and is proving to be a challenge for blockchain firms and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols. These entities now have to either fully decentralize to avoid reporting requirements or comply with Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer regulations.

Centralized exchange Binance has informed its European customers about categorizing stablecoins as authorized or unauthorized per MiCA and transitioning users accordingly. Binance CEO Richard Teng clarified that while stablecoins are not being delisted from spot markets, availability will be limited for certain products in Europe

Uphold has also adjusted to the new regulations by delisting six stablecoins, including Tether (USDT), Frax Protocol (FRAX), Pax Dollar (USDP), Dai (DAI), TrueUSD (TUSD), and Gemini Dollar (GUSD).