Two crypto-friendly United States presidential candidates covered by Cointelegraph in recent months have officially dropped out of the race. Vivek Ramaswamy, the only presidential candidate with an actual crypto framework in his program, acknowledged his defeat and threw his weight behind former President Donald Trump in the upcoming election, saying, “There needs to be an America first candidate in this race.” Ramaswamy emerged on the presidential campaign circuit as a relatively unknown candidate, but he quickly garnered a following in the crypto community for his outspoken policy proposals concerning Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets.
Central bank digital currency (CBDC) opponent and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also withdrew from the race for the White House after losing by a 21% margin to Trump in the Iowa caucuses for the Republican Party nomination. During one of his first campaign appearances, DeSantis vowed to ban a possible version of the digital dollar if elected. The Florida governor has been vocally supporting crypto since 2021 when he proposed allowing businesses to pay state fees with cryptocurrencies in the 2022 to 2023 budgetary year.
Trump, whose victory in the Republican primaries looks increasingly likely, has taken up at least one sensitive crypto point from his defeated opponents. During a Portsmouth, New Hampshire campaign speech, Trump vowed to “never allow” the U.S. Federal Reserve to create a CBDC in the country. “Such a currency would give a federal government, our federal government, the absolute control over your money,” Trump said. However, as president, Trump previously said he was “not a fan of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin,” saying their value is “based on thin air.”
Four U.S. states weigh in with anti-CBDC bills
Bills against referring to a CBDC as money have been filed in the states of Utah, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee. The bills would exclude a CBDC from the definition of money and could create significant roadblocks to a CBDC in the United States. Similar legislation was signed into law in Florida in May 2023. It also banned using CBDCs issued by foreign governments and called on other states to use their commercial codes to institute similar prohibitions.
The European Banking Authority extends AML rules to crypto
The European Union’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing guidelines (AML/CFT) have been extended to European crypto companies following a decision from the European Banking Authority. The amended guidelines aim to help crypto asset service providers identify their exposure risk to financial crimes due to their “customers, products, delivery channels and geographical locations.” The guidelines also outline how crypto firms should adjust their financial crime-fighting measures, including “the use of blockchain analytics tools.” Financial crime risk assessment guidance is also included with crypto firms directed to consider the potential risks associated with “anonymity-enhancing features,” self-hosted wallets, decentralized platforms and products that allow transfers between the company and such services.
Canada to change its investment fund requirements for crypto
The Canadian Securities Administrators released proposed changes to regulations on how public investment funds treat crypto assets. The proposed amendments under consideration would restrict the activities of public investment funds regarding crypto and establish standards for custodianship. Under the amendments, only alternative and non-redeemable investment funds would be allowed to buy, sell or hold crypto assets directly. Other mutual funds could only invest in those funds to receive crypto exposure. The assets would have to be listed on an exchange recognized by a securities regulatory authority in Canada and would have to be fungible.