Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, in a strong move, has announced his acceptance of Bitcoin donations for his campaign, making him the second candidate in the 2024 US presidential race to make a similar announcement. He is also unveiling a new proposal to roll back tax restrictions on mining the currency in the U.S.
The 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.
Speaking at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami, Ramaswamy urged supporters to “make the 2024 election a referendum on fiat currency.” He showcased a QR code that, when scanned, redirects users to a payment gateway offering various donation options, including Bitcoin and satoshi.
Importantly, United States citizens who qualify can donate up to $6,600 for the campaign, which cannot be deducted as a charity donation for federal income tax purposes. The donors will be given non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with the donation page stating, “After donating, come back to claim your NFT.” Ramaswamy expressed hope that the thriving Bitcoin ecosystem can empower him to achieve his goals as the potential US president.
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 present his support for the digital currency and his belief in its potential to transform the financial landscape.
He clarified that he does not plan to issue any NFT for personal profits or campaign fundraising and is just giving an option to US voters to make their donation in the form of Bitcoin. Vivek Ramaswamy emphasized that he is not threatened by the rise of digital currencies.
In April, the Biden administration proposed a 30 per cent tax on the electricity used by cryptocurrency mining operations in its 2024 budget. Ramaswamy opposes this tax and considers it unfair and an abuse of federal power. He argued that Bitcoin miners should not be treated differently from any other energy consumer.
Washington is pushing for greater regulation and oversight of cryptocurrencies after the collapse of FTX, a cryptocurrency hedge fund and crypto-exchange site, in November 2022. The cryptocurrency company lost about $9 billion of customer funds. A string of other industry players has declared bankruptcy over the last year, including BlockFi, Celsius Network, Genesis Global Capital, Three Arrows Capital and Voyager Digital.