The politico’s crypto conundrum: To Bitcoin or not to Bitcoin?

medium_6852338943Almost everything in the world is subject to some kind of government regulation, or has been otherwise tainted by politics. Now, as people begin exploring the possibility of having a unifying currency – one that’s supposedly free from government influence or interference – you can bet that politicians will want to get in on the fun. Or else they’ll try to take all the fun out of it.

Funny money – are you kidding me?


In a previous interview with Bloomberg, everybody’s favorite Libertarian Ron Paul stated that despite his long association with currency, he doesn’t fully understand Bitcoin and he doesn’t fully support it, but he’s not totally against it. His reservations come from the fact that Bitcoins only exist in the digital world, they’re not something we can just put in our pockets.

A question posted on Quora read, ‘Why does Ron Paul think Bitcoin does not fit the definition of money?’

Congressman Ron Paul declined to clarify why he doesn’t see Bitcoin as real money, but one of the comments may shed some light on his reservations.

Pointing to Paul’s Wall Street Journal portfolio, it was revealed that 64 percent of his assets are in gold and silver mining stocks. He also owns 23 mining companies, though he has no shares in any major companies outside of this industry.

The anonymous commenter stated that Paul is heavily invested in precious metals, which are in direct competition to cryptocurrencies to  “fleece idiots out of their money.” The commenter concluded that Paul is advocating Bitcoin isn’t real money in order to increase the demand for the precious metals, which will enhance his own returns.

Pro Bitcoin


Surprisingly, despite airing these previous reservations about Bitcoin, Paul presented some pretty compelling arguments in support of Bitcoin.

From Paul’s post on Quora:

“Though I don’t personally believe that Bitcoin is true money, it should be perfectly legal and there should be no restrictions on it, there should be no taxes on it”.

“The people who operate Bitcoin would, of course, be prohibited from committing fraud but the people should be able to have competition whether it is a basket of commodities or crypto-currencies – it should be perfectly legal. For this to operate, we need to have freedom from government intervention when it comes to the Internet. I am concerned that the government ultimately wants to curtail the Internet and there have been attempts to do so.”

“The internet is the salvation for those of us who believe in liberty because it is an alternative way of getting around the system not only in the spreading of our ideas in this instance but in in terms of getting around the monetary system on the whole if they do permit crypto-currencies and other forms of transactions. So, this is something that we should all be concerned about whether we endorse it or not.”

Paul went to explain that what people should really be arguing for is a monetary system that challenges the government. It should be something that doesn’t only benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and the poor.

Confused by Paul’s contradicting statements? You’re not alone, but just think of it this way: Paul is a former politician and we know how easy it is for them to say one thing but mean another, or to be deliberately vague about their stand on certain issues. Usually, if the government opposes something, politicians will lean towards what the people want just to get on voters’ good side come election day.

Bitcoins for campaigns


small__10235609403Speaking of elections, some US governor candidates have already announced that they will be accepting Bitcoin donations for their campaign funds.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has announced that for his Texas Governor campaign, he’ll be accepting donations in Bitcoins, and stated that adding another tool will allow his team to reach out to more supporters.

“The spirit of Bitcoin embodies the free market principles that make Texas a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship,” Abbott added. “We welcome the Bitcoin community to join our team.”

Abbott isn’t the only politician to embrace the cryptocurrency. Texas Representative Steve Stockman kicked off the new year at the launch event for the NYC Bitcoin Center, and announced that he too would be accepting Bitcoin donations for his Senate campaign.

Though some politicians got with the Bitcoin program, others have taken a different stance. Rep. Four Price, ex-Potter County Democratic Party chairman Abel Bosquez, and Rep. John Frullo, have all stated in the past that they won’t be accepting Bitcoin for their campaign funds. The reasons they gave included “not being ready” for the cryptocurrency or simply “not having thought about it”.

photo credits: Desperado8 via photopin cc; btckeychain via photopin cc