Did Elizabeth Warren Just Endorse Bitcoin? Not So Fast

A stunt from Bitcoin supporters led to the appearance that the U.S. senator and staunch cryptocurrency opponent Elizabeth Warren signed an order for a flag to be flown over the U.S. capitol commemorating Satoshi Nakamoto.

AccessTimeIconFeb 15, 2024 at 9:43 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 9:39 p.m. UTC
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No, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who typically antagonizes the blockchain industry, has not had a sudden change of heart on Bitcoin.

Warren has fashioned herself as one of blockchain's fiercest critics in the Senate, spearheading bills like last year's Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act that aimed to curb the ability for financial institutions to transact in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

So given the Senator's anti-Bitcoin track record, it came as a surprise this week when she appeared to sign off on an official order commanding a flag be flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of pseudonymous Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

The Bitcoin community immediately seized on the news, recirculating an article on X (formerly Twitter) from Bitcoin Magazine celebrating Warren's "sudden embrace of Bitcoin."

Look a little closer, however, and the development appears to be little more than a clever stunt pulled off by Bitcoin supporters.

Although some credulous commentators celebrated Warren's "endorsement," social media sleuths quickly pointed out that anyone can, for a fee, fill out a form on the Senator's website to have a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol.

If there's any takeaway in Bitcoin Magazine's tongue-in-cheek article – which praises Warren for having finally "seen the orange-tinted light" (a reference to the orange bitcoin logo) – it might be that the senator's office apparently takes a decidedly free-speech approach to moderating submissions to its flag request form.

Bitcoin Magazine has not responded to CoinDesk's request for comment. A call to a phone number listed on a press release from Senator Warren's office did not go through; a call to the senator's press office suggested reporters put their questions in an email; CoinDesk's emails to the press office for comment were not immediately returned.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


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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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