Speaking to a packed audience on the final day of the 2023 Bitcoin Conference in Miami, Florida, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. purposely made bitcoin his campaign platform, saying cryptocurrencies must be defended, which What he called “invasive surveillance”. ,
“We live in a time when technology has dangerously increased the ability of governments and corporations to control our lives,” Kennedy said. “Distant, impersonal multinationals and totalitarian technologies usurp areas of human activity that were previously privately or community owned.”
These technologies monitor movements, communications and transactions, Kennedy said, pointing to the 2022 trucker protest in Ottawa, Canada, as an example.
He said he saw the Canadian administration using surveillance and data tracking systems to block truck drivers protesting COVID mandates from accessing their bank accounts in an effort to end the demonstration.
“When I saw this holocaust, this devastating use of government repression, I realized for the first time how important free money is to liberties, like freedom of speech,” Kennedy said.
During his keynote speech, Kennedy took aim at President Joe Biden’s proposed 30% tax on energy use for bitcoin miners, saying it would require an aggressive monitoring mechanism to monitor miners’ energy use.
Initially introduced in the 2024 White House budget, the Biden administration proposed a 30% tax on cryptocurrency mining, stating that cryptocurrency mining could consume 50,000 gigawatts of electricity in 2022, about the same amount of energy as TVs and home computers combined. is consumed.
The energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining has long been an argument used against proof-of-work blockchains. Proof-of-work blockchains such as bitcoin consume a significant amount of energy due to the computational power required to solve the complex mathematical problems involved in mining.
“It sets a terrible precedent where everything you do that requires electricity has to be monitored by the government,” Kennedy said, adding that he wanted the right to reject smart meters in people’s homes. will support
Kennedy had already forayed into the world of cryptocurrencies after opposing a US central bank digital currency, or CBDC, saying the US government was waging a “war on cryptocurrencies”.
“As president,” Kennedy told the audience. “I will ensure that your right to own and use bitcoin is inviolable, [y] I will defend the right of self-custody”.
Not only will Kennedy protect the right to bitcoin, he assured the crowd, he also vowed to defend the right to run a private node, saying Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements should be implemented at the level of banks and exchanges. needed, not node level.
“I don’t think the government has the right to demand access to your bitcoin keys or, for that matter, any of your passwords,” Kennedy said. “To say otherwise is to cede essential territory to the surveillance state.”
“The whole point of bitcoin is that it’s decentralized,” Kennedy said. “Anybody can run a node, and that is important not only for bitcoin but for the decentralization of democracy.”