Dec 12, 2023

With the 2024 U.S. presidential election less than a year away, candidates Vivek Ramaswamy, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson spoke at the first bipartisan crypto presidential candidate forum organized by the Stand with Crypto Alliance at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH.

Video transcript

The state of crypto is presented by Tron connecting the world to the power of Cryptocurrency. Three presidential candidates joined the first bipartisan crypto presidential forum organized by the stand with crypto alliance in New Hampshire last night include our former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. Let's take a look. The public needs to understand uh one of the nature of the industry, how it works, how they can profit from it, how they can invest in it. Greater understanding is important and that builds confidence. And then secondly, they need to be assured that this is going to be not a tool that can be used by terrorists or by criminal organizations. And we know uh in the industry that there's more transparency actually in the crypto market than there is in bank. Traditional financing. Joining us now to discuss is coin desk, global policy and regulation. Managing editor Nick Day who is also the state of crypto newsletter editor. Welcome back to the show, Nick. Good morning. All right, let's talk about what happened. Coin desks, Jesse Hamilton moderated the forum last night and also spoke with Vivek Ramaswamy and Congressman Dean Phillips. You were there, talk us through some of the highlights. Yeah, it was a very interesting event, right? It's the first time you saw a group of presidential candidates really coming to speak to the crypto industry itself. And while at least two of the, you know, candidates up on stage, you know, confessed that they weren't, you know, deeply involved in crypto, the fact that they were still out there speaking to crypto, you know, cry crypto curious people uh at all was, uh you know, it's pretty unique. Um We'll see if this becomes kind of a broader trend or if crypto remains kind of a, you know, a fringe issue for the campaign. But this is a start and Dean Phillips is not somebody I normally associate with crypto. So, what did he have to say? Yeah, that's actually something he did acknowledge up on stage. He pointed out that he's not on, you know, for example, house Financial Services. Uh so he's not on, you know, the most relevant committee to crypto issues, but he said that he is willing to work and take a look at crypto legislation. Um You know, it's more of a matter of, you know, trying to get a sense of, you know, what works. He solicited feedback. He asked for, you know, information from the audience about what kind of crypto policies make sense and what that would, you know, what that could lead to Nick? Were there a lot of people in the audience and what I'm getting at here is, you know, are there enough people who actually care about crypto, care about crypto legislation um to entice these uh political candidates to come out and speak at an event like this. So, um that's a good question. I spoke to a couple of the attendees and I will say right off the bat, there were not a lot of people from New Hampshire. This event took place in Manchester, New Hampshire. Uh you know, famously, you know, one of the, the homes of one of the earliest caucuses and primaries in the election season. A lot, most of the residents uh sorry, most of the attendees were not residents of New Hampshire. Uh One of the state representatives asked for a hand, you know, count a show of hands to, you know, see who was from New Hampshire. Uh Most people said they were not, I spoke to a few folks, someone was visiting from Ohio just out there to, you know, hear from the lawmakers of the aspiring presidential candidates and see what they have to say. I Harvard, I had or sorry, there was a group of Boston Blockchain enthusiasts, including from Harvard Business School who were, you know, they bused in to take a listen. So there were a lot of people who are interested, um not a lot of people who are going to be able to vote on this in New Hampshire. And some of the folks who are there, are, you know, just there for curiosity, just there to hear what lawmakers or, you know, potential lawmakers may, might say about this issue. What did they actually say? I mean, you know, you said that it was Dean Phillips asking for uh advice from the audience. Hey, what should I do? The Ve Ramaswami? On the other hand, he's somebody we all know uh uh in terms of, of having a lot of opinions about everything, some of which he doesn't know anything about, but that hasn't stopped them. Uh, and then we had a, a Hutchinson. So, what, what, what was the consensus that we got from these three? Yeah, I mean, you know, uh, Phillips, we've won over almost Hoy kind of stuck to his talking points. He believes that most federal rules are unconstitutional. He'd like to, you know, overturn a lot of federal agency rulemaking. Um, obviously, you know, I think at some point we're gonna need a bit more detail on what that looks like and what kind of basis he's using. But he has his talking points that he stuck. The Governor Hutchinson. Uh, you know, his thing was, he does believe that there is a need for more regulatory clarity, but he also acknowledged that he's not super conversant in crypto and, you know, said near the beginning of his time that I, you know, even the language he was using perhaps is not the same words that the crypto industry would use. But um you know, he said his Sonin law is in crypto, he's eager to learn more about it. But in his view, you know, there's a need for regular, for clarity and you know, kind of just go from there. All right, Nick, and how much of a role do you think that crypto is going to play in the upcoming election? Honestly, it's very hard to say. At this point, crypto was obviously a talking point near the beginning of the election. We saw, you know, obviously, you know, Vivek Ramaswamy, come out talking about crypto. We've seen Governor Ron desantis from Florida, you know, talk about his CBD C BILL. Um Whether this becomes an actual issue that people will vote on remains to be seen. You know, obviously, there is uh an effort I would say by some of the crypto industry s crypto group and Coinbase, for example, clearly want people to be voting more on crypto or talking about crypto at least as far as the election is concerned. But there are also, you know, a lot of, I would say higher profile issues that we're really seeing come to the fore um inflation, obviously the biggest one in the economy, but also, you know, issues like abortion. Uh after you know, Governor Hutchinson was done, for example, he had this media availability and uh you know, room off to the side. And most of the questions were about what's going on in Texas. So whether crypto becomes an important enough issue to, you know, cut through those other issues that people are kind of more focused on at the electoral level remains to be seen by, at least as kind of a, you know, maybe see here talking point, it's certainly something that people are paying attention to. And so we'll probably continue hearing about crypto to some extent over the next year. Uh It's just unclear to me whether it's going to be a move the needle type of issue. Well, Nick, everybody in my bubble, that's all they talk about. So clearly, it's going to be the only uh issue that matters. Pauline Kel Election. Yeah. All right, Nick. Don't ever be sorry, Lawrence Nick, we are going to leave it there. We will hopefully see you back again tomorrow. Thank you so much for joining. Thank you. That was Coin Desk Global Policy and Regulation, managing editor Nick Day and don't forget to sign up for the state of crypto newsletter on Coin

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