Commentary: CoinDesk Covers the 2020 US Election and Crypto Impact

CoinDesk is covering Election 2020 live, with real-time analysis of its impact on the crypto space.

AccessTimeIconNov 4, 2020 at 1:20 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:27 a.m. UTC

ND (00:00 ET): The majority of the seats we're following in our top-15 races to watch have been called, and it's looking like we won't know the results from the U.S. presidential election until later this week at the earliest. (CNN currently has the tally at 205 for former Vice President Joe Biden to 114 for incumbent President Donald Trump.) Bitcoin's price has remained fairly stable over the past few hours, though at $13,900 it's still up close to 3.5% over the past 24 hours. We're going to call it a wrap for the night and get back to it tomorrow. Thanks for hanging around. For CoinDesk, this is Nikhilesh De, Bradley Keoun, Sebastian Sinclair and Sandali Handagama. 

BK (23:53): Fox News calls Texas for Trump.

BK (23:44): Fox News calls Ohio for Trump.

BK (23:43): Pennsylvania unlikely callable overnight in U.S. presidential election, Fox News says.

BK (23:32): Fox News calls New Mexico for Biden. Not a surprise.

BK (23:26): Fox News calls U.S. Senate race in Arizona for Mark Kelly, another flip for Democrats.

SS (23:25): Predictions markets point to win for Trump in Pennsylvania with @PolymarketHQ bettors pricing in a 64% chance while bettors at @PredictIt are giving it to the incumbent - 67%. Both markets heavily favor Trump to win the presidential race.

BK (23:21 ET): Fox News calls Arizona for Biden; that's a flip of 11 electoral votes won by Trump in 2016 and every other Republican since Bill Clinton's win in 1996.

BK (23:16 ET): Republicans flip Alabama U.S. Senate seat from Democrats.

ND (23:15 ET): Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), the former Bakkt CEO appointed to the U.S. Senate late last year, will head to a runoff, likely in January, after no candidate in Georgia's special election secured enough of the vote to declare victory. Doug Collins, a former Republican representative also running for the seat, conceded late Tuesday and will support Loeffler as she runs against Democrat Raphael Warnock.

BK (23:15 ET): Trump projected to win Florida, Fox News says.

BK (23:03 ET): CNN calls California, Oregon and Washington for Biden, Wyoming for Trump.

BK (22:57 ET): TRUMP futures on FTX crypto exchange have shot up to about 74 cents on the dollar from 35 cents over the past couple hours:

FTX exchange's TRUMP futures have doubled in past hour to about 74 cents on the dollar.
FTX exchange's TRUMP futures have doubled in past hour to about 74 cents on the dollar.

BK (22:49 ET): Biden wins Illinois, Trump Missouri: CNN.

BK (22:40 ET): CNN calls New Hampshire for Biden; Louisiana, Kansas, Utah, Nebraska for Trump. Electoral tally so far: Biden 98, Trump 95.

SS (22:04 ET):  Betting on Polymarket suggests Trump has 91% chance of winning Texas.

SS (22:00 ET): In the last hour, bettors at Polymarket have President Donald Trump winning the election $0.59 to Biden's $0.41 up from $0.44 and $0.56 respectively.

ND (21:55 ET): Some prediction markets appear to be swinging toward Trump. The four decentralized markets CoinDesk tracked pretty consistently indicated that Biden would win; late Tuesday night, Augur flipped, as did FTX's TRUMP and BIDEN tokens.

BK (21:55 ET): CNN calls U.S. Senate seat in Colorado for former Governor John Hickenlooper, flipping Republican seat to Democratic.

BK (21:30 ET): CNN Projects South Carolina, Alabama for Trump. No surprise.

BK (21:30 ET): CNN projects Colorado for Biden. No surprise.

ND (21:20 ET): Cynthia Lummis just won her race for a Senate seat representing Wyoming. This isn't a surprise – she was clearly favored in the polls once she won her primary race this past summer – and there's a lot of hope from the crypto industry that she'll be a hardcore advocate for the space.

BK (21:15): CNN projects Connecticut for Biden, South Dakota for Trump. No surprise.

BK (21:13): CNN making point that Ohio and North Carolina both leaning blue at the moment, could spell trouble for Trump if those hold.

SS (21:09): In the last two hours predictions markets have begun to narrow: Biden at 55% to Trump's 45%. Next key battleground state, assuming Trump takes for Florida, is Arizona where bettors have flipped Republican in past hour.

BK (21:05 ET): CNN projects New Jersey for Biden, Arkansas for Trump. No surprise.

BK (20:53 ET): Next big slug of polls close in 7 minutes.

SS (20:40 ET): Crypto predictions platform Polymarket is beginning to flash some interesting results. According to the platform, there is now a 93% chance Trump takes Florida, with predictions paying $0.93 to the Republicans and $0.70 for the Democrats.

"Two stand outs: Pennsylvania is leaning to the Democrats while Texas is leaning heavily to Republicans with 85%," said Shayne Coplan, founder and CEO of Polymarket. 

Other crypto predictions markets are struggling to keep pace as and have gone dark. Another interesting prediction is "will Donald Trump tweet announcing that he won the election before November 5th 2020?" Currently 55% of respondent are betting that is unlikely, though the margins are close.

ND (20:40 ET): So far, Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) have won re-election, to no surprise. Soto is perhaps the most enthusiastic about blockchain of the three, introducing a number of bills aimed at integrating blockchain with government efforts. Warner is more of a Libra skeptic, while Cotton believes the U.S. should create a central bank digital currency to prevent China from displacing the dollar as the world reserve currency.

ND (20:35 ET): PredictIt is still down.

ND: Hello CoinDesk readers and welcome to our live coverage of the 2020 election results. Today Nikhilesh De, Bradley Keoun, Sandali Handagama and Sebastian Sinclair will be bringing you real-time updates as the elections are called for lawmakers important to our industry, as well as keeping you up to speed on what the prediction and futures markets are saying. 

We’ll be tracking the price of bitcoin through the night to see if traders are also watching this election or if any particular outcomes have an impact on movement.


Bitcoin’s price did not react at all to the 2016 election, rising a scant 1.8% in the 24-hour trading period. Given the crypto industry’s overall lack of engagement in this election, there’s no reason to believe this might change in 2020.

Bitcoin price chart showing November 2016 price action in broad historical context.
Bitcoin price chart showing November 2016 price action in broad historical context.

Of course, it is worth noting bitcoin embarked on the famous 2017 bull run just months after the election, rising to all-time highs close to $20,000 within a year and giving birth to an initial coin offering boom that regulators are still investigating and conducting enforcement actions against nearly three years later. At the moment, bitcoin is slowly rising, hitting a nearly two-year high of $14,000 just the other day. And since the last election, its price has grown 19-fold.


Still, comparing the crypto industry now to the industry in 2016 would be foolish at best. The market has matured in many ways, with the U.S. space at least seeing the introduction of futures contracts and a greater number of regulated entities. Regulators have likewise gained a better understanding of the space, introducing new regulations or clarifying how cryptocurrencies fit into existing frameworks – to an extent. 

The winners of this year’s election will get to decide how regulators are to proceed and whether new legislation is passed. CoinDesk will be here providing updates to watch it all unfold.


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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

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