The 2024 United States presidential election will see its first debate between the Republican nominees who have publicly expressed their views on crypto-related policies. Eight candidates have been chosen to appear in Milwaukee on Aug. 23 and former President Donald Trump has announced he will not be attending.
The debate is seen as a chance for the Republican candidates to target each other in the campaign for the nomination. It is unclear if cryptocurrencies and blockchain will be mentioned, however some of the candidates have already made plans to include the technology in their policies should they win the election.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is trailing in the polls, has promised to ban central bank digital currencies in the U.S. if elected President due to concerns of giving the government authority over consumer payments. He had previously signed a bill to largely prohibit the use of a federally issued digital dollar in Florida.
Meanwhile, the youngest candidate in the running, 38-year-old Ramaswamy, has advocated for the 2024 election to be a “referendum on fiat currency”. At the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami, he announced his campaign would be accepting Bitcoin (BTC) donations, which was praised by X CEO Elon Musk as a “promising” candidate.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who has been promoting pro-crypto policies in his city, is another candidate. He had accepted certain paychecks in BTC and was involved in the MiamiCoin (MIA) token project for Miami residents. Suarez had claimed he had qualified to appear at the Republican debate in a now-deleted post on X (formerly Twitter), but GOP officials later revealed he was not among the eight names listed for the debate.
The other candidates appearing on Aug. 23 are North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has expressed pro-crypto views, is running as a Democrat and will not be attending the debate in Milwaukee.
The 2024 elections in the U.S. could be a pivotal moment for digital asset policies, with a party shakeup possible in the House of Representatives, Senate, and White House. In July, Republican lawmakers with the House Financial Services Committee passed two bills to establish regulatory clarity for crypto firms, though the legislation has yet to be scheduled for a full House vote.
This debate between Republican nominees and the possible policy changes could change the way the government addresses digital asset policies. With the outcome of the 2024 elections yet to be determined, the crypto space will be watching closely.