Vivek Ramaswamy, Crypto-Friendly U.S. Presidential Candidate, Suspends Campaign

The former biotech executive was the only Republican contender to have a crypto plan.

AccessTimeIconJan 16, 2024 at 5:39 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 2:16 a.m. UTC

Vivek Ramaswamy – who pledged to lay off most of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and direct a path for digital assets policy if elected President– suspended his campaign for Republican leadership after a fourth-place finish in Iowa.

In his concession speech, Ramaswamy thanked his supporters and endorsed former President Donald Trump.

“I’m going to appear with Donald Trump at a rally in New Hampshire to lay out what I see and what we see for the future of the country,” he said.

Ramaswamy’s crypto plan emphasized safeguarding software developers and unhosted digital wallets, treating most cryptocurrencies as commodities, and significantly reducing the SEC’s influence in the crypto sector.

“A big part of what we’re missing today is clarity from our regulators,” Ramaswamy said in a prior interview with CoinDesk TV. “What we’re going to have is rescinding any of those regulations that are allowing the regulatory state to go after perfectly legal behavior, but by claiming that somehow it shouldn’t exist because they don’t like it. All of that can end on my watch.

During a Republican leadership debate in December, Ramaswamy said that regulations need to play catch-up to the fast-moving world of digital assets.

“The fact that SBF was able to do what he did FTX shows that whatever they have is the current framework isn’t working,” he said on stage.

"It’s nothing short of embarrassing that Gary Gensler, the SEC chair, couldn’t even confirm in front of Congress whether Ethereum is a regulated security,” he said during the December debate, referring to the debate inside the SEC on whether ether (ETH) is a security.

“This is another example of the administrative state going too far,” he continued.

The SEC is withholding from CoinDesk the emails and notes that influenced William Hinman’s pivotal 2018 speech at the Yahoo Markets Summit, only providing heavily redacted versions, where he declared ether not a security, a significant moment in cryptocurrency history.

According to a disclosure from earlier this year, Ramaswamy owns between $100,001-$250,000 of bitcoin (BTC) in a Coinbase (COIN) account and between $15,001 and $50,000 in ether.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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