On Monday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced that he’s seeking the nomination for GOP presidential candidate at Liberty University. His stump speech included goals such as abolishing the IRS, securing the border, growing the economy, and protecting religious liberty. Cruz did not mention bitcoin or cryptocurrency, getting closest with “Imagine innovation thriving on the Internet as government regulators and tax collectors are kept at bay.”
The four years following 2016 are likely to be transformative for bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Earlier this year, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss announced they had recently began building a “fully regulated” Bitcoin exchange. As peer-to-peer, decentralized payments systems come into their own, regulators will have to balance consumer demands for risk pooling with entrepreneurs’ need to have the freedom to innovate.
On the issue of entrepreneurial freedom, Ted Cruz has been fairly clear. “Which has greater innovation: the United States Post Office, or Facebook and Twitter? Which has greater innovation: Taxi commissions in local cities, or Lyft and Uber? Every time you put unelected bureaucrats in charge of the market, they stifle innovation,” CNN reported Cruz saying at Reboot Congress in February.
MSNBC quoted him as saying “The principle I’m going to suggest to you is, don’t mess with the Internet!”
Cruz supports auditing the Federal Reserve, and on Twitter took a jab at expansionary monetary policy:
While Cruz might be sympathetic to tech innovation, his campaign has not quite mastered it. People trying to donate to his campaign were stymied by 404s and redirects. Those who found his actual home page found it lacking an SSL certificate, or basic encryption to prevent you from donating to Nigerian princes. Speaking of, when a Vox reporter manually typed in the “https” prefix to the URL, they noticed that “nigerian-prince.com” is listed as an alternative domain for Ted Cruz’s campaign donations.
Cruz is the first Republican to announce a campaign for the 2016 nomination. He will likely be joined by Kentucky Representative Rand Paul, who has been vocal in his support of bitcoin. At Reboot Congress, MSNBC reported that Paul, “bantered easily back and forth about Bitcoin currency” onstage with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington.