Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy becomes the second 2024 presidential candidate to accept Bitcoin donations

May 21, 2023 08:21 PM IST

Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy embraces Bitcoin donations, becoming the second 2024 presidential contender to do so.

In a bold move, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has announced his acceptance of Bitcoin donations for his campaign, making him the second candidate in the 2024 US presidential race to do so. Speaking at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami, Ramaswamy urged supporters to "make the 2024 election a referendum on fiat currency."

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel And Convention Center in Maryland. (AFP)
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel And Convention Center in Maryland. (AFP)

During his speech, Ramaswamy showcased a QR code that, when scanned, redirects users to a payment gateway offering various donation options, including Bitcoin and satoshis—the smallest denomination of Bitcoin. Eligible US citizens and permanent residents can contribute up to $6,600 to his campaign, and upon donating, they will receive a nonfungible token (NFT) as a token of appreciation.

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Ramaswamy's decision to embrace Bitcoin for campaign donations follows the recent announcement by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who became the first US presidential candidate in history to accept Bitcoin donations. This move by political candidates signals a growing recognition of the influence and potential of cryptocurrencies in shaping the future of finance.

The entrepreneur-turned-politician believes that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offer an alternative to traditional fiat currencies, especially amid concerns about the strength and stability of the US dollar. By accepting Bitcoin donations, Ramaswamy aims to demonstrate his support for the digital currency and his belief in its potential to transform the financial landscape.

However, Ramaswamy clarified that he does not plan to issue his own NFTs for personal profit or campaign fundraising. He emphasized that his focus is on policy and providing supporters with the option to contribute to his campaign using Bitcoin, emphasizing that he is not threatened by the digital currency's rise.

One of the core principles of Ramaswamy's proposal is to ensure the freedom to mine Bitcoin in the United States. In recent years, the US has become a prominent location for Bitcoin mining, surpassing China after Beijing restricted mining operations due to energy consumption concerns. However, the Biden administration recently proposed a 30% tax on electricity used by cryptocurrency mining operations. Ramaswamy vehemently opposes this tax, stating that it is wrong, unfair, and an inappropriate exercise of federal power.

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To solidify his stance, Ramaswamy plans to unveil his Bitcoin policy at the Bitcoin 2023 conference. His proposal aims to prevent Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies from being treated as securities, allowing them to function as parallel currencies. Ramaswamy believes that this move will enable the stabilization of the US dollar as a unit of measurement and restrict the Federal Reserve's mandate to focus solely on currency stabilization.

While Ramaswamy's Bitcoin acceptance and policy proposals may appeal to crypto enthusiasts and those skeptical of traditional financial systems, the wider implications and feasibility of such measures are subject to debate. As the 2024 presidential race unfolds, it will be interesting to see how Ramaswamy's embrace of Bitcoin resonates with voters and whether other candidates will follow suit in recognizing the growing influence of digital currencies in the political sphere.

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