Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the first presidential candidate to accept Bitcoin for campaign donations, joins his competitor, Donald Trump, in promising to fight the development of a central bank digital currency in the United States.
On Jan. 24, Kennedy posted a fragment of his media appearance on X discussing the threats of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). In his post, the presidential candidate calls it a part of a discussion with Joseph Mercola, a proponent of alternative medicine, who promoted “alternative remedies” for COVID-19. Mercola hosts a podcast called Take Control Over Your Health.
In a one-minute video, Kennedy claims a CBDC will allow the government to know about any single transaction a citizen makes, which will lead to blackmail or pressure and adds:
“It [a CBDC] is a calamity for human rights and for civil rights.”
Kennedy shared the example of China, where the local CBDC, the “digital yuan,” is linked to an extensive social credit system and, according to U.S. politicians, the government “can shut off” an individual’s access to their funds if the street surveillance cameras detect any form of non-compliance.
A 2023 Chainalysis report previously raised privacy concerns for Chinese citizens. It warned that China could combine the financial data generated by the digital yuan with other supporting data and feed it into its social credit system.
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The politician vowed to end “the efforts to move toward a CBDC” if he becomes president and said he would do everything he can to maintain paper cash. However, Kennedy also reminded the listeners that Bitcoin (BTC) protects them better than cash.
Dr. Joseph @Mercola and I discuss financial freedom in the 21st century. As president, I will end the efforts to move toward a CBDC. #Kennedy24 pic.twitter.com/gao3D1HAeM— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) January 24, 2024
Another presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has twice voiced his promise to “never allow” a CBDC in the United States. While Trump made some negative comments about Bitcoin during his presidency, his former Republican Party opponents Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took pro-crypto and anti-CBDC positions in their presidential campaigns. Both Ramaswamy and DeSantis endorsed Trump after quitting the presidential race.
Kennedy, who left the Democratic Party in October 2023, is still fighting for inclusion on state ballots, as party ballot access requires fewer voter signatures than running as an independent. In January 2024, he appeared open to running as a Libertarian Party candidate.
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