Ron DeSantis, the current governor of Florida, has officially thrown his hat into the ring for the 2024 United States presidential election, promising to “protect” Bitcoin if he wins.
On May 24, Twitter CEO Elon Musk joined DeSantis and approximately 520,000 live listeners for a Twitter broadcast of DeSantis’s announcement, moderated by venture capitalist David Sacks.
“As president, we’ll protect the ability to do things like Bitcoin,” said DeSantis. He added, “There are risks involved,” but people who are interested in cryptocurrencies are “sophisticated” and “capable of making decisions.”
“You have every right to do Bitcoin. The only reason these people in Washington don’t like it, is because they don’t control it.”
DeSantis referred to the individuals on Capitol Hill as “central planners” who “want to control society.”
“Bitcoin represents a threat to them, so they’re trying to regulate it out of existence,” he said.
The Florida governor also alluded to the Securities and Exchange Commission‘s jurisdictional battle over cryptocurrencies.
Gary Gensler, the current chairman of the securities regulator, has asserted for years that his organization has authority over the cryptocurrency market.
DeSantis stated that because Congress “never addressed” cryptocurrencies, “the bureaucracy”—most likely the SEC—”had to do it on their own” and made it so “people cannot operate in that space.”
“I just don’t have an itch to have to control everything that people may be doing in this space, and I think that the current regime — clearly they have it out for Bitcoin.”
He added that if President Joe Biden is re-elected for another four years in 2024, the crypto regulatory regime under his administration will “probably end up killing it.”
In Florida, DeSantis passed an anti-central bank digital currency (CBDC) bill in early May that prohibits the use of federal CBDCs as money and prohibits the use of foreign CBDCs as well.
Before the United States goes to the polls in November 2024, much work remains. At the first GOP presidential primary debate of the 2024 cycle, scheduled for August, DeSantis will likely square off against former President Donald Trump and others.
Other White House candidates have come out in support of the cryptocurrency. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democratic presidential candidate, described Bitcoin as a “symbol of democracy and freedom” in a speech at the Bitcoin 2023 conference.
Kennedy was also the first presidential candidate in U.S. history to accept Bitcoin contributions; Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy followed suit days later.