No new regulatory structure needed for crypto

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Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee Mike ter Maat said digital asset policy could “play a minor role” among political parties in the 2024 United States elections.

On May 26, Libertarian delegates nominated Chase Oliver and ter Maat as U.S. president and vice president, introducing the country to the ticket for the third-largest political party behind Democrats and Republicans. Many of the party’s values sometimes align with those of cryptocurrency holders, such as limiting regulations except for protecting certain freedoms and espousing free-market approaches to the economy.

Speaking to Cointelegraph after his nomination, ter Maat said he expected inflation and foreign policy issues would likely weigh more on voters’ minds in November. However, cryptocurrency could still play a role in the presidential election. Candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties seem to have increased their rhetoric around digital assets in the last month as Congress considers crypto bills, regulators crack down on companies, and the U.S. Justice Department continues criminal cases against high-profile figures in the space.

“I think that technology more generally than just cryptocurrency and finance more generally than just cryptocurrency could play a more important role,” said ter Matt. “I would love to see cryptocurrencies rise to a level at which we’re having a national discussion, but I don’t know if I would necessarily expect that.”

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are expected to accept the nomination for Democrats at the party’s national convention in August. Former president Donald Trump is expected to do the same at the Republican Party Convention in July when he said he would announce a vice president pick — though he is scheduled to be sentenced following his conviction on 34 felony counts just four days before the event kicks off.

According to ter Maat, he and Oliver hadn’t seen much “common ground” in digital asset policy with the other party candidates. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., running as an Independent, was operating “with a different set of principles” on technology than Libertarians. He added that Trump was a candidate “from whom you rarely see exacting statements that really adequately support a nuanced issue.”

“I don’t necessarily see one party or another beating the poop out of each other on this set of issues sufficiently to move the needle [in the election],” said the Libertarian VP nominee, adding that he and Oliver were essentially “simpatico” in their approach to digital assets:

“We both believe that the federal government needs no new regulatory structure for this asset class, that the problems that we have seen are because there are people in this world that would steal other people’s resources.”

Source: Mike ter Maat

In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill prohibiting the Federal Reserve from offering a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the United States. Ter Maat has been outspoken in the media about vetoing any bills giving the Fed authority to offer a digital dollar if elected.

“If the Fed or any other central bank got into this business [of digital assets] or even just considered getting into this business, it would create enough incentives for those organizations to create a regulatory framework that advantaged their own currency or advantaged their future ability to issue their own currency, so much that it could inhibit the development of other cryptocurrencies,” said ter Maat. “That concerns me.”

Related: Neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump are crypto champions

The Libertarian Party won roughly 3% of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, behind Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. Though all polls suggested that the Oliver/ter Maat ticket was unlikely to win any state, Libertarians could draw enough votes away from either President Biden or Trump to influence the outcome of the U.S. election.

Trump faces potential prison time after his felony conviction — though neither the conviction nor physically being behind bars would necessarily preclude him from running for the presidency again. According to recent polling, many U.S. voters are also reconsidering voting for President Biden due to his support of Israel amid the country’s war on Gaza.

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