Crypto Updates

Crypto Turns Political as Industry Leaders Bet on Trump

Donald Trump wearing a "Make Bitcoin Great Again" cap, Credits: Samson Mow

As the US presidential election draws closer, bitcoin and crypto have become key political talking points in ways not previously seen. This can partly be attributed to the relative youth of the industry, as at the time of the 2020 election, Bitcoin had been operating for eleven years, Ethereum had only been live for five years, and many key DeFi protocols were only two or three years old (Maker, for example, launched as a working product in 2017, Uniswap and Compound in 2018.)

But skip forward to 2024 and the situation has evolved rapidly, with spot BTC ETFs operated by BlackRock and Vanguard (among others) now part of the TradFi landscape, spot ETH ETFs also lining up for launch later this summer, and–according to a recent report–40% of Americans now holding crypto.

Data from

This time around, then, crypto has become too big to ignore, Wall Street has gone ahead and placed bitcoin on its menu regardless of politics, and what’s more, a crypto-hostile SEC has forced crypto industry leaders into positions where pushback becomes a matter of survival, which increasingly means aligning with, and also influencing, pro-crypto political candidates.

After all, if legal battles with the SEC become the norm for crypto companies, and the SEC is endorsed by the Biden administration, then the crypto industry is unlikely to settle for more of the same.

Aligning with a pro-crypto alternative, of course, requires there to actually be a pro-crypto candidate, which in turn may incentivize the creation, among candidates, of pro-crypto policies, and if we take a look at the Trump camp and the support Trump is receiving from within the crypto industry, we can see this dynamic playing out.

Kraken Founder Donates to Trump

At the end of June, Jesse Powell, the founder of major crypto exchange Kraken, posted on X to let it be known he had personally donated $1 million, mostly in ETH, to Donald Trump. Powell describes Trump as the “only pro-crypto major party candidate in the 2024 Presidential election”, and states directly that “the crypto industry has been under attack by Elizabeth Warren, Gary Gensler and others”, also claiming that, “the Biden White House has stood by and allowed a campaign of unchecked regulation by enforcement”.

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