Ahead of the 2024 US presidential election, Bitcoin has become the focus of some debate. Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotechnical entrepreneur turned Republican candidate, claims to be the only candidate who can discuss Bitcoin intelligently on the presidential debate stage. His statement comes after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his candidacy on Twitter, and promised to “protect the ability to do things like Bitcoin.”
Ramaswamy believes DeSantis lacks the understanding of the cryptocurrency, and therefore does not understand the “why.” He has praised DeSantis for taking up the cause of Bitcoin and adopting many of Ramaswamy’s proposals, but believes his own understanding is more “deep and rich.”
FiveThirtyEight currently polls Ramaswamy at 3.5% among Republicans, with Donald Trump at 54%, DeSantis at 21%, and former US Vice President Mike Pence at 5.1%. Although he is not the first politician to take up the cause of Bitcoin, he may be the only one who claims to have a sophisticated understanding of it. Former US President Donald Trump once called Bitcoin a “scam,” but it is unclear if he will continue to hold this stance during his reelection run.
Ramaswamy is pro-Bitcoin because he views it as a “decentralized alternative” to the US dollar, and believes it will “hold the existing system’s feet to the fire” by introducing competition. He intends to slash the headcount at the Federal Reserve by 90%, and is open to overhauling the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
At the Bitcoin 2023 conference, Robert J. Kennedy Jr. declared himself an “ardent defender” of Bitcoin, claiming it both exercises and guarantees civil liberties. Ramaswamy also spoke at the conference and was the first Republican candidate to accept Bitcoin donations over the Lightning Network. He is confident that he can bring these issues to the center of the Republican debates in the primaries.