RFK Jr. Vows to Back Dollar With Bitcoin, Exempt BTC From Taxes

The Democratic presidential hopeful also reiterated a May stance defending the right to self-custody bitcoin, run blockchain nodes at home and promising industry-neutral energy regulation.

AccessTimeIconJul 19, 2023 at 10:32 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 19, 2023 at 6:22 p.m. UTC

CORRECTION (July 19, 13:30 UTC): Clarified that RFK Jr. was speaking about bitcoin, rather than crypto in general.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. unveiled a plan to exempt bitcoin (BTC) from capital gains tax when it is converted into U.S. dollars and to begin to back the greenback with "real finite assets" such as gold, silver, platinum and bitcoin.

"Backing dollars and U.S. debt obligations with hard assets could help restore strength back to the dollar, rein in inflation and usher in a new era of American financial stability, peace and prosperity," said Kennedy. He would start the process, he said, "very, very small, perhaps 1% of issued T-bills" would be backed by hard currencies like gold, silver platinum or bitcoin.

Speaking at a Heal-the-Divide PAC event Tuesday evening, he also echoed commitments he made at a conference in May defending the right to self-custody bitcoin, run blockchain nodes at home and promising industry-neutral energy regulation.

The story was first reported by TheStreet.

"The benefits include facilitating innovation and spurring investment, ensuring citizen privacy, incentivizing ventures to grow their business and tech jobs in the United States rather than in Singapore, Switzerland, Germany and Portugal,” said Kennedy.

The Internal Revenue Service treats bitcoin as property and investment rather than currency, which means it is subject to tax on capital gains. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also been cracking down on the industry. Crypto companies have been calling for more regulatory clarity for months, and are looking to see if a ruling against the SEC in its lawsuit with Ripple will lead to a change in approach.

“It is a mistake for the U.S. government to hobble the industry and drive innovation elsewhere,” Kennedy wrote in a Twitter post in May. “Biden’s proposed 30% tax on cryptocurrency mining is a bad idea,” he wrote referring to incumbent President Joe Biden, also a Democrat.

America will go to the polls to elect a president on Nov. 4, next year.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.