Over the past few months, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have finally entered into the mainstream political consciousness.
Within a few weeks’ time, some of the world’s most powerful individuals — everyone from President Donald Trump and Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell to former IMF president Christine Lagarde and a key official at the United Nations — spoke on this industry.
Their thoughts were largely negative. While Powell did admit that Bitcoin could be seen as a “store of value”, he and his peers mostly asserted that it can be a dangerous tool in the hands of criminals, who these critics say use cryptocurrencies to fund terrorists, launder money, and so much more.
Yet, there are some in the political sphere that have taken to cryptocurrency’s side. One of these people is Andrew Yang, the immigrant-born Andrew Yang who decided to ditch his entrepreneurial venture and Silicon Valley connections in hopes of changing America.
Andrew Yang on Bitcoin, Crypto, & Blockchain
Popular Youtuber Ryan “NigaHiga” Higa recently hosted Andrew Yang on his podcast, “Off The Pill”. Around halfway through the interview, one of the podcasters asked Yang if he had thoughts on cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies, seeing that there is a politican action committee that accepts Bitcoin. Interestingly, Yang bit.
While Yang did claim that he is more of a fan of blockchain than the digital assets based on such networks, he admitted that the reality of this technology is starting to be realized, despite the bubble seen in 2017.
The POTUS hopeful added that he has “many friends” in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, having worked in a tech-centric and entrepreneurial environment for a good part of his life. Indeed, there is an image circulating the web of Yang standing beside Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin.
Yang’s support for cryptocurrencies seems to stem from his technological background and decision to respond to technological trends, instead of waiting until it is too late. He said in an interview with “The Coin Chat” earlier this year:
“Sometimes people call me a ‘futurist’, but I believe I’m a ‘presentist.’ It’s just that most politicians are stuck in the past. I’ve worked in technology for twenty years and know what’s possible.”
The candidate, who is currently polling 6th in the Democratic side of things, added that he believes there is a need for decentralization and transparency, which can be enabled by digital currencies and distributed ledgers.
Policies Already in Support
His policies already reflect his optimistic stance towards this nascent sector. In a policy pledge published to Yang’s campaign website earlier this year, it was written that a Yang Administration would aim to propose “clear guidelines” for this industry, which is dramatically different than the very fragmented and contradictory regulatory approach that exists today.
Yang believes that such a regulatory framework, especially in regards to how cryptocurrencies are seen by the SEC, would help this industry innovate, which, with a technology poised to revolutionize countless sectors, will only benefit the States.
Another policy the Democrat has is to implement a blockchain voting system. He wrote in another policy page that “it’s ridiculous that in 2020 we are still standing in line for hours to vote in antiquated voting booths.” With blockchain, Yang writes, vote waiting times and voting fraud will be dramatically reduced, while voter turnout will increase because democracy can be digitized.
While he only has two policies that explicitly mention cryptocurrencies and blockchain, some of Yang’s ideas could be “blockchainified”.
One policy that was talked about in the aforementioned podcast was how the Presidential hopeful wants to allow consumers the chance the monetize their data, so Silicon Valley’s facets can’t have a monopoly on big data. There has been some talk of creating decentralized identities based on blockchain, which may allow for the self-monetization of data.
It is clear that if Yang was elected, crypto firms may begin buddying up with the U.S. again. But, right now, startups seem to be on their way out of the nation, finding the inconsistent regulation too risky.