Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made his first public appearance as a presidential candidate at the Bitcoin 2023 conference today, sharing his own experiences with Bitcoin, warning about how the technology could enable global government totalitarianism and describing how he protect the rights of Bitcoiners if elected president.
“As president, I will make sure that your right to hold and use bitcoin is not violated,” Kennedy said. “I am an ardent defender and lifelong defender of civil liberties and Bitcoin is an exercise and a guarantee of those liberties.”
Kennedy told the crowd that he was first inspired by Bitcoin as a critical freedom technology after learning how it was used to circumvent financial restrictions during the Canadian trucker protest last year.
“None of these legal and peaceful protesters broke any law… But suddenly, they found they couldn’t access their money, their bank accounts to pay their debts or feeding their families,” he recalled. “When I witnessed this … devastating use of government repression, I realized for the first time how important free money is as free expression.”
Kennedy has publicly stated his support for Bitcoin since May 2023, which recognizes its isolation from other cryptocurrencies and indicates that policymakers should support its growth rather than stifle it, such as regulations such as the Biden administration’s proposed tax on energy used by miner On stage, he reiterated his distaste for such regulations and outlined the steps his administration will take to encourage Bitcoin innovation in the US.
“First, I will defend the right to self-custody bitcoin and other digital assets,” he said. “Second, I will support the right to run a node at home… Third, I will defend use-neutral, industry-neutral energy regulation… Fourth, I will ensure that the United States remains the global hub of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies … I will reverse the government’s growing distaste for this industry.”
Finally, he said he would look closely “if individuals like Ross Ulbricht,” the founder of the darknet, bitcoin-based marketplace Silk Road who received a double life sentence in 2013, was prosecuted. “for actual crimes, or as a means of combating crypto.”
“I will consider pardoning them and I will move quickly to do so,” Kennedy added.
Kennedy launched his Democratic primary bid soon after signaling support for the Bitcoin industry on Twitter and announced his appearance at Bitcoin 2023. His public stances on issues such as vaccine mandates and climate change are at odds with many of the Democratic mainstream and he has positioned himself as a party outsider. . As of this writing, he sits in second place, albeit trailing by a significant margin, to Joe Biden in the national polling average.
At Bitcoin 2023, Kennedy clarified that he is not personally investing in bitcoin and announced that his presidential campaign will be the first in history to accept donations through the Lightning Network.
“We are now living in this era of turnkey totalitarianism … and our job is to try and build and strengthen democratic institutions at the same rate,” he concluded. “The biggest, most important one on the horizon is Bitcoin, because it can’t be manipulated.”