Biden is expected to hire Gary Gensler who teaches at MIT on blockchain technology and digital currencies
We saw a Bitcoin price rally in the days following the US election, not necessarily because of who won it, but because it brought an end to some of the uncertainty that has been plaguing the markets. Also, rather than being retail-driven, the price surge was likely the result of corporate demand, with Grayscale picking up over 40,000 bitcoin in the last month alone.
But what will a Joe Biden presidency mean for cryptocurrencies and their regulation?
Donald Trump made no secret of his crypto scepticism, tweeting last year that he was “… not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.”
However, many have hopes that a Biden administration with tech-centric advisors could be more crypto-friendly. This is presumably how FTX and Alameda Founder Sam Bankman-Fried feels — having donated over $5 million to the Biden campaign.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Biden was expected to tap ex-CFTC chief Gary Gensler as his advisor on Wall Street regulation. Gensler is an MIT professor who taught a course called ‘Blockchain and Money’, on how blockchain could be used in finance. He also wrote an op-ed for Coindesk last year in which he called cryptocurrencies and blockchain a “catalyst for change”.
While some are concerned by comments Gensler has made in the past about regulation being needed in the cryptocurrency market, regulation would at least eliminate the risk of the government trying to ban cryptocurrencies and increase confidence in them among the masses. However, Gensler has also stated that Bitcoin should remain exempt from regulatory scrutiny.
As for Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, her team includes former Sacramento Kings CTO, Ryan Montoya. The Kings are one of the most innovative and Bitcoin-friendly NBA teams around, having become the first professional sports team to mine cryptocurrency and last year announced their own crypto token for fan rewards. Also, Tim Draper opined that Harris “… can learn crypto.”
Biden and Harris haven’t said much about their views on cryptocurrencies and they will no doubt have a lot of other things to focus on when they take office. However, having a few crypto-friendly people among their advisors could signify a more positive stance than that of a president who reportedly told his Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to “go after Bitcoin” for fraud.