Bitcoin Friendly US Senator Loses in Primaries

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The 2020 US elections have seen more debate about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies than all previous elections combined. Unfortunately for the crypto community, Austin Petersen – a Bitcoin-friendly Senate candidate – lost in the Republican primary election on August 7th. According to State of Missouri’s unofficial results, Petersen only managed to claim a total of 54,810 votes out of 663,553 votes cast. The majority of the votes went to Missouri’s attorney general Josh Hawley.
While Bitcoin and crypto enthusiasts would have loved to see more support for Bitcoin on Capitol Hill, all hope is not lost. The crypto world still has another horse in the race in the form of presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

Crypto Donations are Rolling in

Austin Petersen was one of the first candidates to accept cryptocurrency donations, and he famously received a donation of 0.284 BTC on December 20th 2017, which was equivalent to roughly $4,500 at the time. Unfortunately, this was over the maximum individual donation limit. Petersen had to think quickly in order for the generous donation to count, he decided to split it in half, with the first $2,700 going towards his campaign in the primaries, and the remaining in the general election.
Petersen had received roughly 24 Bitcoin donations during his primary campaign, raising just under $10,000. Andrew Yang is also accepting cryptos – but seems to be more open to driving up interest in crypto contributions than other candidates. He has said he will accept any ERC20 standardized tokens starting with a minimum donation of $2,500. Other candidates have also asked their state officials whether they can collect crypto donations, but one candidate from North Carolina was told that it wouldn’t be allowed.

KYC is the Key to Transparency

Andrew Yang and his team have implemented a strict KYC procedure that all crypto donors must pass through successfully in order to donate. Crypto exchanges use a very similar process before allowing people to trade on their exchange. In fact, it is slowly becoming a global requirement for crypto exchanges to have KYC checks in place. In an exclusive interview with BitStarz News, Lorenzo Pellegrino – Skrill CEO – said that having industry-leading KYC is vital to its platforms ability outperform its competitors. “Thanks to our industry-leading KYC tools we also have the capability to bring on board new user quickly and safely, which is another strong differentiator for us,” he said.

US Government Can Still Trace Transactions

The DEA has said that even without proper KYC checks, it can still trade Bitcoin and other crypto transactions back to the originating source if needs be. This ability could stem from the fact the US National Surveillance Agency (NSA) actually created the SHA-256 algorithm and therefore know a few backdoors in the system that can be exploited for national security reasons.

Little Hope for Bitcoin Friendly President

If the next president of the United States was friendly towards crypto, it could open up a whole new range of possibilities for the industry, and it could catapult cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into mainstream uses. In Brazil, one candidate has suggested Bitcoin could become a legal currency in the country and he has hinted at using blockchain technology in government applications to stamp out corruption.
Unfortunately for Andrew Yang – the crypto community’s last horse in the presidential race – his chances aren’t looking too good. The bookies have him at between 150/1 and 200/1 to become the next President of the United States. That puts the likes of Ivanka Trump (100/1), Mark Zuckerberg (66/1), George Clooney (80/1), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (50/1) and Eminem (66/1) ahead of him. Trump is looking to be the firm favorite out at 11/8, but as we saw in the last presidential race, the bookies can get it wrong.
While we would love to see a crypto-friendly president, it looks more unlikely with every round of primaries. There is a high possibility that by the time the 2020 election rolls around the candidates are all forced to take a stance on crypto. This could help bring millennial voters into the fold, a group which usually has the lowest voter turnout. If a high profile candidate brings crypto into their manifesto, we could witness spikes in the prices of Bitcoin and altcoins as well as more discussion surrounding crypto regulation and acceptance.