Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the former environmental lawyer and now Democratic candidate for the 2024 U.S. presidential election, has continued his social media campaign to criticize cryptocurrency. On May 2, Kennedy attacked President Joe Biden for calling the U.S. banking system “safe and sound,” tweeting that “today, bank stocks are crashing. The American people deserve more than glib assurances and perception management.” The following day, Kennedy condemned the Biden administration’s proposed tax on cryptocurrency mining, calling it “a bad idea.” He suggested that the environmental argument was a pretext to suppress anything that threatened elite power structures. Bitcoin, according to Kennedy, is one such target. Kennedy has also expressed concerns about the potential for governments to use financial controls to suppress dissent.
Kennedy’s comments come amid a growing debate about cryptocurrency and its role in the economy. While some officials have warned of the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining and questioned its use in illicit activities, others have hailed it as a means to democratize finance and provide financial autonomy to individuals and organizations. Kennedy, however, appears to be taking a skeptical view, aligning himself with those who oppose the government’s encroachment on individual liberties.
Kennedy’s views on cryptocurrency appear to be part of a broader narrative about government control and the role of the state in regulating individual behavior. He has stated his opposition to central bank digital currencies, which he claims will give the government too much power to control access to funds. Kennedy has suggested that CBDCs will “vastly magnify the government’s power to suffocate dissent by cutting off access to funds with a keystroke.”
Kennedy’s views on cryptocurrency have been echoed by a number of other politicians and public figures. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, for example, has called for a ban on CBDCs, while former U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed his skepticism about the future of cryptocurrency. Marianne Williamson, another Democratic candidate for the presidency, has also expressed concern about governments’ ability to regulate financial transactions, but has not mentioned cryptocurrency specifically on her campaign website.
The debate over cryptocurrency and its future role in the economy is likely to continue for some time, with proponents arguing that it offers a new way to conduct transactions and store wealth, while critics point to its potential for illicit activities and environmental harm. As the use of cryptocurrency expands and becomes more mainstream, policymakers will need to grapple with the question of how best to regulate this emerging technology. For Kennedy and other skeptics, the focus will likely be on protecting individual liberties and ensuring that the government does not have too much power to control financial transactions.