Crypto users could ‘make a difference in a close election’ in the US — CoinFlip CEO

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Voters supporting the adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain in the United States could swing an election under the right circumstances, according to CoinFlip co-founder and CEO Ben Weiss.

Speaking to Cointelegraph on Feb. 23, Weiss said that this was the first time in a major U.S. election that digital assets could flip a race for candidates of either party. Major Republican Party candidates for president, including Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis — before they dropped out of the race — mentioned central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as a campaign issue, and frontrunner Donald Trump suggested in February he could live with Bitcoin (BTC) “one way or the other.”

“There’s no political reason for him to be against it,” said Weiss on Trump’s support of crypto. “He doesn’t gain anything from being against it, but if he’s for it, he could pick up a couple points here and there. […] Bitcoin can kind of appeal to both sides of the political spectrum.”

At the time of publication, the likely presidential nominees for the Democratic and Republican Parties are U.S. President Joe Biden and former President Trump, respectively. On Nov. 5, U.S. voters will decide on the fate of all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 33 Senate seats and the presidency.

According to multiple polls, the 2024 presidential election is expected to be especially close. Roughly 154,000 voters swung Michigan to Biden in 2020, a state the Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton lost by roughly 11,000 votes in 2016. Due to the Electoral College system, if a presidential candidate wins a state — with the exception of Maine and Nebraska — they carry all the electors from that state.

Weiss suggested that with many younger people in favor of crypto voting in a presidential election for the first time, the issue could be a deciding factor. This could be enough to swing a state like Michigan or Wisconsin, which Biden won by a 0.6% margin over Trump in 2020 but Clinton lost by 0.8% in 2016.

“If you can move the needle one or two points, that could really matter in a general [election],” said the CoinFlip CEO.

Weiss added:

“If every four years, every two years, there’s more and more younger voters, […] it could move the needle a couple points if someone is anti-crypto or pro-crypto, and it will make a difference in a close election.”

Federal candidates at the state level are already dealing with the impact of crypto-backed political action committees (PACs) coming out against them. In the race for one of California’s seats in the U.S. Senate, the Fairshake Super PAC spent $2.9 million on an ad spot targeting Democratic Party candidate Katie Porter. Reports have suggested that pro-crypto groups could contribute to the campaign of lawyer John Deaton, running to unseat Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in 2024.

“I’m skeptical of one super PAC, especially in a primary, moving the needle alone,” said Weiss. “But they’ve been spending heavily against [Porter].”

Related: Democrats’ ‘war on crypto’ will lose its key voters — Winklevoss twins

In the U.S. presidential race, Trump has yet to choose a vice presidential candidate for his campaign — also a choice that could impact crypto-focused voters if he chose Ramaswamy or someone who has come out against CBDCs. Another factor that could potentially impact the race is that the former president faces 91 felony charges at the state and federal levels, with his first criminal trial scheduled to begin on March 25.

Separate polls released by Coinbase and the Crypto Council for Innovation in 2024 support some of Weiss’ claims, showing that a candidate’s position on crypto could influence many voters. Patrick McHenry, one of the few outspoken proponents of crypto in Congress, will not seek reelection in 2024.

Magazine: Opinion: GOP crypto maxis almost as bad as Dems’ ‘anti-crypto army’