Vivek Ramaswamy Is Drafting a 'Crypto Policy Framework'

The Republican candidate is second only to Donald Trump in some polls.

AccessTimeIconSep 20, 2023 at 9:58 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 21, 2023 at 12:19 a.m. UTC
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NEW YORK – GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy took the stage at Messari’s Mainnet crypto conference on Wednesday evening and announced plans to release a “comprehensive crypto policy framework” by Thanksgiving.

In a “fireside chat” with data company Messari CEO Ryan Selkis, Ramaswamy’s brief remarks – which touched on recent SEC rulings and crypto’s role as a disruptor for traditional finance – painted a generally rosy picture of blockchain technology and delivered a scathing indictment of “three-letter” regulatory agencies.

Selkis said he’d seen the framework and concurred with the GOP candidate that it’s currently “75% there.”

Ramaswamy said he has “relatively strong views on what the future of governmental interface with crypto should be,” zeroing in on what he called an “unconstitutional fourth branch of government” – regulators.

“That is the cancer at the heart of our federal government today,” said Ramaswamy. “Most of the political power is wielded by people who are never elected to their positions that sit in the back of three-letter government agency buildings in Washington DC in a three-letter regulatory alphabet soup.”

Following an appearance from Anthony Scaramucci – the financier famous for his brief stint as Donald Trump’s communications director – Ramaswamy’s remarks speak to crypto’s growing prominence in the U.S. political landscape. As Selkis noted as he welcomed Ramaswamy to the stage, “If you told me a couple of years ago that we'd have a major presidential candidate talking at a crypto conference, I don't think anyone would have believed it.”

Bitcoin’s founding ethos verges on libertarian, but the industry has generally managed to avoid strict categorization on any specific side of the U.S. political spectrum. Ramaswamy’s open embrace of crypto, however, could portend a rightward shift for the industry.

Ramaswamy was a pharmaceutical entrepreneur before he mounted his 2024 presidential campaign – fashioning himself as a youthful, tech-forward heir to Donald Trump’s populist MAGA movement. Even further to the right than Trump on many issues, Ramaswamy’s debate performance in August was something of a break-out moment for the 38-year-old – with attacks from Trump administration figures like Mike Pence and Nikki Haley underscoring the controversial political candidate’s rapid emergence as a serious political contender.

A CNN poll released Wednesday placed the political newcomer second to Donald Trump in the nomination race – ahead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who was widely considered Trump’s main competition in the early days of campaigning.

Ramaswamy’s remarks on Wednesday weren’t the first time he’d spoken positively of crypto. Most recently, in a tweet last month, Ramaswamy celebrated a court ruling against the SEC in its case with Grayscale – a decision considered favorable to the blockchain industry.

Edited by Danny Nelson.


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Sam Kessler

Sam is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for tech and protocols. He reports on decentralized technology, infrastructure and governance. He owns ETH and BTC.

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