As the US election ramped up last summer, the CoinDesk editorial team began to wonder: Given the mistrust in banks and financial firms, would bitcoin and blockchain become an election issue?
The answer, it turned out, was a resounding no, as neither major party candidate weighed in substantively on the issue.
CoinDesk spent much of the past year and a half attempting to engage with the campaigns of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump to no avail. Phone calls to their respective headquarters in Brooklyn and Manhattan went unanswered.
We saw Clinton's campaign pay lip service to the tech in a broad policy statement, only to learn months later that her senior campaign officials saw the digital currency as "too Libertarian" to accept. In one case, spokeswoman Hope Hicks declined comment by email – a degree of responsiveness the Clinton campaign would fail to achieve.
We thought we might get lucky. In the end, to quote Donald Trump, we were wrong. Nor did the campaigns of early hopefuls like Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders engage with us either (though there was a promising start in the latter case).
Ultimately, none of the major candidates would go on the record with any publication about the tech or the sweeping changes it promises to bring to industries and consumers.
Yet, this isn’t to say the election didn’t have its moments.
So, there was movement, albeit in a piecemeal fashion.
One could even argue that the stage was set for 2020 to be the presidential election year that bitcoin and blockchain become a campaign issue or even gets asked about in a presidential debate (our attempts to get a bitcoin question into the Democratic Party and GOP debates in New Hampshire were unsuccessful).
With Congressional action on the tech likely to happen over the next four years, there might soon be change. Here’s hoping.
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