How Will the 2020 US Presidential Election Change the Crypto Asset Industry?

The 2020 US presidential election scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, will be the 59th quadrennial presidential election. But how will it change the crypto asset industry over the next four years?

November 2, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – The 2020 US presidential election will influence policy on crypto assets over the next four years. Even if none of the candidates are appealing a policy that specializes in crypto assets.

How the 2020 US presidential election will change the crypto asset industry

Candidates for the presidential election are not familiar with blockchain and, in fact, make little mention of crypto assets. Those nominated by the president-elect as leaders of the authorities will be working on legislation and regulations for various digital assets, including the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

“We have big regulatory and legal issues, and those who take office will play a huge role in them,”  Christine Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association says.

But none of the candidates are thinking of policies that can be implemented immediately. “Cryptocurrency assets are a low priority, so it’s not surprising,” said John Collins, a partner at financial consulting firm FS Vector.

Candidates for the presidential election are Republican President Donald Trump, Democratic Vice President Joe Biden. Others are Libertarian Party Jo Jorgensen, unaffiliated crypto entrepreneur Brock Pierce, and unaffiliated rapper, Kanye West. But it’s effectively a battle between President Trump and former Vice President Biden.

President Trump has publicly accused Bitcoin and tweeted that he is “not a fan” of Bitcoin.

Former Vice President Biden has not made a public statement about Bitcoin. However, in July the former Vice President’s Twitter account was hacked at the same time as other celebrities and many crypto exchanges and influencers. It was. At that time, the camp of former Vice President Biden jokingly commented that he would not solicit Bitcoin donations.

Neither candidate has crypto assets and blockchain at issue in the campaign.

Key regulatory personnel

The most direct impact of this election on cryptocurrency policy is the president-appointed and Senate-approved regulatory personnel. Several people, including the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) chairman, the CFTC (Securities and Futures Trading Commission) chairman, the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), the Treasury Secretary, and the Secretary of State, influence the government’s commitment to crypto assets.


While Chairman Jay Clayton is currently the head of SEC, President Trump has nominated him as the Federal Attorney for the Southern District of New York. That means Hester Pierce is likely to be the SEC chair, at least tentatively if President Trump wins and Mr. Clayton is approved as the head of the prosecution.

That would be a big step forward. Nicknamed “Crypto Mom,” Pierce so far supports the development and deregulation of crypto assets.

It is unclear who will be appointed to the top of the SEC if former Vice President Biden wins. But Democrats Caroline Crenshaw and Allison Herren Lee will be candidates at least for the foreseeable future.

Ron Hammond, an industry lobbyist and aide to Republican Rep. Warren Davidson, said the SEC would do a lot, especially if former Vice President Biden won. I expect to do it.

“Whichever wins, many staff want to secure a job next year. They want to be proactive and show that they’re not doing nothing.”

Hammond said the SEC as a whole appears to be leaning towards “enforcement regulation” rather than building a clear framework.


Meanwhile, the CFTC is likely to build a regulatory framework, and the current Chairman of Heath Tarbert just took office in 2019. Therefore, it is expected to stay in that position for the next few years.

Hammond said the direction of OCC, which has made a lot of ripples since Brian Brooks took office as an extraordinary secretary, is unclear.

“I haven’t heard anyone’s name. From the Republicans and the Democrats.”

It remains unclear whether the United States will issue the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The Fed is investigating a variety of technologies that can support the “digital dollar,” said Fed board member Lael Brainard earlier this year. Rumor has it that Brainard will be a candidate for Biden’s Treasury Secretary

On the other hand, if President Trump wins, it is unclear whether incumbent Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will remain in that position. However, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is likely to continue, Hammond said.

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Of course, not everyone thinks this election will make a big difference in the crypto industry.

“I don’t think there’s a big difference in terms of crypto asset regulation, no matter who wins the election,” said John Sedunov, associate professor of business school at Villanova University.

In his view, regulators are likely to continue to treat crypto assets as financial assets.

“When it comes to technology, tech giants, and financial regulation, we’re clear that the Biden administration will have more scrutiny of financial institutions and banking, but at this point the crypto asset industry is’too big to crush’. I don’t think you need to worry about becoming

Mr Smith of the blockchain association pointed out that the Biden administration is “almost unknown”, but the second term Trump administration will be more familiar to the crypto asset industry.

Cryptocurrency-related efforts are increasing

The president-elect will also affect crypto-related issues such as data privacy, antitrust and giant tech enterprise issues, and consumer protection.

Incumbent Attorney General William Barr has been opposed to cryptography, given the law enforcement framework for crypto assets and joint statements with other institutions. I don’t know if the person appointed by former Vice President Biden as Attorney General has the same view.

However, consumer protection is likely to be a concern for the Biden administration, Sedunov said.

“The best way for the crypto industry and stakeholders to think about the victory of former Vice President Biden is to market the idea of ​​being consumer-oriented and healthy for the economy.”

Even if former Vice President Biden wins, it is unlikely that existing rules and guidelines will change soon, FS Vector Collins said. At least one of the reasons is that it’s not a big priority.

According to Collins, the chances are that both administrations will have more people with crypto-related backgrounds.

European and Asian regulators have increased interest in other rules for the CBDC and blockchain, especially given China’s rapid development of the “digital yuan“. Will have to do more in this area, Collins said.

“I don’t think the federal government will give out Bitcoin to people, but the idea of ​​a more open and reliable payment network will be a big part of the debate.”

Senator elections impact on crypto assets

The president may set the course for crypto asset regulation next year. However, much of the government’s approach will be decided by Congress. The House of Representatives is believed to remain Democratic, and the Democrats are currently expected to win in the Senate, according to statistics site FiveThirtyEight.

In short, the Senate Banking Commission will be in the hands of the Democratic Party, and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown will take the lead, Hammond said.

Collins said both Democrats and Republicans believe they can agree on some sort of regulation on the spot market and which agency should be in charge.

According to Smith, he believes more lawmakers will start paying attention to crypto assets next year.

“When it comes to the Senate, we’ve been approached by multiple Senators in recent months, and we’re saying we want to start a dialogue next year as crypto assets will be a priority,” Smith said.

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