Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made his presidential candidate debut at the Bitcoin 2023 conference on Friday, where he shared his views on Bitcoin, liberty and how technology is enabling government totalitarianism around the globe.

In so many words, Kennedy believes that government encroachment into the minutia of people’s lives threatens property rights, privacy rights and the very fabric of a free democratic society itself. If elected president of the US, Kennedy said he would protect the right to self custody Bitcoin.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. debuts

Kennedy said:

As president, I will make sure that your right to hold and use bitcoin is inviolable. I am an ardent defender and lifelong defender of civil liberties and Bitcoin is both an exercise and a guarantee of those freedoms.

After learning how Bitcoin and Litecoin were used to circumvent financial restrictions during the Canadian trucker protest in 2022, Kennedy told the crowd that he was inspired by Bitcoin as critical freedom technology.

He recalled:

None of these lawful and peaceful protestors had violated any law… But suddenly, they found that they could not access their money, their bank accounts to pay their mortgages or feed their families. When I witnessed this … devastating use of government repression, I realized for the first time how free money is as important as free expression.

The democratic candidate has publicly showed his support for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies since May 2023. Similar sentiment has been echoed on the opposite side of the isle, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signing an anti-CBDC bill into law last week. Kennedy said legislators should support the development of Bitcoin instead of hindering it, as is the case with the Biden administration’s proposed energy tax on miners. On stage, Kennedy expressed distaste at these regulations, outlining steps the administration could take to drive Bitcoin innovation in the US.

First, I will defend the right of self custody of bitcoin and other digital assets. Second, I will uphold the right to run a node at home… Third, I will defend use-neutral, industry-neutral regulation of energy… Fourth, I will make sure that the United States remains the global hub of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies… I will reverse the government’s growing hostility toward this industry.

The presidential candidate also said he’d look at “whether individuals like Ross Ulbricht”, the founder of a darknet bitcoin marketplace who was imprisoned for life in 2013, were prosecuted “for actual crimes, or as a means to crackdown on crypto.”

“I will consider pardoning them and I will act very quickly to do so,” Kennedy added.

Government overreach

Throughout the speech, Kennedy spoke about government overreach, and that there is “always a good excuse” to suspend the constitution, whether it’s “to stop a new disease, to protect us from misinformation, to prevent domestic terrorism, to stop hate speech, to prosecute a war, or to fight climate change”. He goes on to say that “all of these, can easily turn into pretexts”.

Control over the public starts, perhaps as a means, but it always becomes an end.

Kennedy launched his Democratic primary bid just before signalling support for Bitcoin “and other crypto technology” on Twitter.

Notably, the tweet infers that the presidential candidate is open to the wider cryptocurrency space, which includes serious sound-money contenders such as Litecoin and Monero (and an avalanche of vapourware).

His open stance on issues like vaccine injuries, illegal mandates and hysterical climate rhetoric fly in the face of most lamestream Democrats. Indeed, Kennedy has positioned himself as a party outsider who dares venture beyond the confines of what can only be described as fact-free ideological drivel.

According to current polling data, Kennedy currently sits in second place, trailing significantly behind Joe Biden.

Kennedy clarified that he is not personally invested in Bitcoin and announced that his campaign with be the first ever to accept donations using the Lightning Network.

He concluded by highlighting that the world is at a major crossroads.

We are now living in this age of turnkey totalitarianism.. and our job is to try and build and fortify democratic institutions at the same rate. The biggest, most important one on the horizon is Bitcoin, because it can’t be manipulated.

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