Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.), an environmental lawyer and 2024 Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate, has made history by announcing his acceptance of campaign donations in bitcoin (BTC). This move marks the first time a US presidential campaign has welcomed bitcoin contributions.
Kennedy revealed his decision during a speech at the Bitcoin 2023 conference held in Miami, where he also made his debut appearance as a presidential contender.
Drawing a connection between bitcoin and the fundamental principles of democracy and liberty, Kennedy emphasized his commitment to maintaining the United States as the global center for bitcoin, should he be elected.
Prior to delivering his keynote address, Kennedy expressed his belief that people are passionate about bitcoin not only because it is a currency but also because it represents an exercise in democracy.
The 69-year-old candidate shared that his interest in bitcoin was sparked by learning about its role in circumventing financial limitations during the 2022 Canadian trucker strike, referring to bitcoin as a symbol of democracy and freedom.
Kennedy called upon the crypto community to support his political campaign in 2024. However, he also warned about the potential for technological advancements to enable dictatorial governments. Nevertheless, if elected, he pledged to protect the interests of the crypto industry.
Kennedy’s presence at the bitcoin event aimed to attract new voters and raise millions of dollars in donations for his campaign.
During the previous year’s midterm elections, crypto companies and their CEOs demonstrated notable generosity, with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried contributing approximately $40 million to Republican and Democratic candidates.
Kennedy clarified that his campaign would accept Lightning Network donations, despite not personally owning any bitcoin.
By embracing bitcoin for campaign contributions, Kennedy joins a growing number of individuals and organizations recognizing the significance of cryptocurrencies in the political landscape. As the 2024 presidential race approaches, the integration of digital currencies in political fundraising further underscores the expanding influence of blockchain technology and its potential impact on democracy.