Cryptocurrency seems to be a big deal for most presidential candidates this year. Between Andrew Yang and now democratic candidate of California Eric Swalwell, bitcoin and blockchain are leading issues, but Swalwell is keeping things simple for the time being by merely accepting cryptocurrency donations to his campaign.
Pay Up with Crypto
Swalwell is now the second democratic candidate after Yang to accept cryptocurrency donations, though that’s virtually where his ties to digital assets end right now. Yang, on the other hand, unveiled a new cryptocurrency platform earlier this year, and has since earned the nickname “the bitcoin candidate.”
On his website, Swalwell provides the following statement regarding blockchain’s benefits and alleged risks:
Blockchain can change the world if we let it. Is there a risk? Sure, that’s why we must test, retest and constantly monitor such systems for interference or abuses by using expert oversight. We can do that. Risk should not scare us. It’s a hurdle we can surmount. Government has to keep up with the times and the times have changed.
Swalwell, to his credit, has reportedly worked on “cryptocurrency issues” in Congress. He has also sent letters to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) asking for clarification regarding cryptocurrency tax laws.
The trouble is that, unlike Yang, Swalwell hasn’t really delved into what he plans to do regarding cryptocurrencies and blockchain should he win the presidency, which according to the latest polls, he has no chance of doing. Swalwell, along with Yang, consistently ranks at either zero or one percent, and he’s trailing behind big time when it comes to other major candidates such as former vice-president Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Yang, at the very least, has talked about potential cryptocurrency businesses, though his popularity has yet to reach mainstream status. Right now, Yang is popular amongst tech groups and individuals involved in the tech space, and his chance of garnering the nomination is very slim. Yang has released his own statement regarding his plans for crypto, stating:
If I’m in the White House, oh boy. Are we going to have some fun in terms of the cryptocurrency community! Cryptocurrencies and digital assets have actively grown to represent a large amount of value and economic activity. This quick growth, however, has outstripped the government’s response. It’s time for the federal government to create clear guidelines as to how cryptocurrencies and digital asset markets will be treated and regulated so that investments can proceed with all relevant information.
Regulation Is More Important Than Ever
Yang, at the very least, has a point. Regulation is crucial at this stage, considering that institutional investors are now getting more involved in crypto than ever. In addition, cryptocurrency theft and malicious activity throughout the space is still a major problem, and stronger regulation could work to bring this down further.