Freedom of transaction is as important as freedom of expression, it says Robert F. Kennedy Jr—and it was the reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic that brought him to this realization.
the The Democratic presidential candidate spoke today in Miami at Bitcoin 2023 in his first public appearance as a candidate and the most anticipated event of the week’s conference. Almost every seat on the main “Nakamoto Stage” at Bitcoin 2023 was filled ahead of his keynote address.
Kennedy’s keynote opened with an explanation of how he became interested in Bitcoin, saying it was Canada’s decision to clamp down of truck drivers protesting the COVID-19 restrictions by freezing bank accounts drives his understanding of the value of Bitcoin.
“When I witnessed this disaster—this devastating use of government repression—I realized for the first time how important free money is to freedom like free expression,” Kennedy said.
The candidate—who is a outspoken critic of vaccine mandates—saying that supporting Bitcoin is an “exercise and a guarantee” of the civil liberties he is committed to protecting, promising to protect the top crypto coin.
“Bitcoin is a bulwark against precisely this type of government and corporate expansion and penetration,” said Kennedy, referring to how to treat trucks. “As president, I will ensure that your right to hold and use Bitcoin is not violated.”
Comparing his stance to the current US president, he pointed to Biden’s proposed 30% excise tax on cryptocurrency miners, saying it would require an “invasive surveillance apparatus to monitor what’s going on with individual computer” and set a bad precedent.
The Democratic candidate wasn’t the only one to take aim at Biden’s proposed mining tax on Friday.
The Republican Side
One of the biggest proponents of Bitcoin on Capitol Hill, Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), returned to the Bitcoin conference stage for a fireside chat with Chamber of Digital Commerce founder and CEO Perianne Boring about the US legislative landscape surrounding Bitcoin.
“Bitcoin is something so aligned with American values that we need to make sure it’s protected, nurtured, and allowed to evolve here in the United States,” he said, drawing applause from conference attendees.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, is notably absent. He was scheduled to speak with Lummis but was unable to attend because of debt ceiling negotiations, said Walker Van Dixhorn—one half of the YouTuber duo. The Crypto Couple—which introduced Lummis and Boring.
“Unfortunately, he’s locked in congressional session because they can’t fix the debt ceiling,” Walker Van Dixhorn said. “So, fiat problems, I guess.”