Thursday Newsletter

Explore the latest trends, gain valuable insights, and stay informed in the dynamic cryptocurrency ecosystem.

04 July 2024

In a high-stakes election year, the intersection of cryptocurrency and politics is coming into sharp focus. With crypto-user demographics aligning with those of highly sought swing voters, politicians are keen to tap into this emerging voter base, according to a researcher from Texas Christian University (TCU).

The 2024 U.S. election is set to be one of the most unpredictable in recent history, with cryptocurrency adding to the excitement. Unlike previous election cycles, this year features politicians actively addressing cryptocurrency and blockchain issues. Former President Donald Trump has declared himself the “crypto president,” while Democratic candidates show a growing interest in supporting crypto legislation.

On June 24, Carole House, the author of President Joe Biden’s executive order to establish a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, left her position at the New York Department of Financial Services to rejoin the White House. This move underscores the increasing importance of crypto in U.S. politics.

The Political Appeal of Cryptocurrency

Politicians recognize that cryptocurrency owners now make up at least 15% to 20% of the American public. They aim to win these voters by appealing to their economic interests, much like they do with 401ks and other assets, says Grant Ferguson, a political science instructor at TCU.

“Both Republicans, like Donald Trump, and Democrats, like Governor Jared Polis of Colorado, see the potential in cryptocurrency,” Ferguson noted. The increasing value of crypto assets has caught the attention of strategic politicians across the spectrum.

Cryptocurrency as a Political Reality

Moe Vela, an adviser to Unicoin and a former senior White House adviser, asserts that any candidate must now address the reality of cryptocurrency. Its impact on financial, investment, and economic sectors cannot be ignored. Rehiring House signals the Biden administration’s recognition of digital assets’ importance.

David Primo, a political science professor at the University of Rochester, adds that the industry is now better organized with well-funded trade groups and a strong lobbying presence. This mainstream acceptance indicates that politicians are responding to well-organized interest groups.

Crypto Voters: A Key Demographic

Crypto-user demographics are aligning with swing voters, making them a critical target for politicians. Research by Ferguson and his colleagues shows that crypto investors often have distinctive political attitudes relevant to this election year. The typical U.S. crypto investor is a young, centrist male, often Latino or African-American, and likely to own stocks.

This voter profile makes them a valuable target for both major parties. Their votes are not firmly committed, making them potential swing voters who could influence the election outcome.

The Durability of Political Support for Crypto

The enthusiasm for crypto among politicians may fluctuate with market conditions. Ferguson notes that a significant dip in crypto prices could shift political stances. However, if internal polling shows that appealing to crypto owners can secure additional votes in swing states, politicians may maintain pro-crypto policies through the election.

The relationship between crypto and politics is further solidified by the potential for crypto to fund campaigns. Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, a law professor at Stetson University, points out that as long as crypto has value, politicians will continue to seek it out, much like other in-kind contributions.

The Broader Impact on Elections

This election cycle also sees some politicians using crypto as a distraction from other issues. Vela warns that any lawmaker using crypto to create division or fear may face backlash at the ballot box. Politicians need to understand that crypto represents a movement by those feeling disenfranchised by the current financial system.

Overall, the upcoming elections could significantly impact the future of crypto and blockchain technology. A unified Congress and presidency could either advance or hinder new technologies, depending on the prevailing political climate.

In conclusion, the political landscape is rapidly evolving with the integration of cryptocurrency, signaling a major shift in how elections are fought and won in the digital age.