Trump Advocates for U.S. Bitcoin Mining, Shifts Stance on Cryptocurrency

Trump Bitcoin Mining Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin Mining: Presumptive 2024 Republican nominee Donald Trump announced on Wednesday his desire for all remaining Bitcoin to be mined in the United States. This marks a significant shift in his stance on cryptocurrency, which he previously approached with skepticism.

Trump is now using Bitcoin as a focal point for his campaign, drawing a clear distinction between himself and President Joe Biden, and highlighting his broader embrace of the digital sector.

The logic behind several of Trump’s assertions remains unclear. He suggests that Bitcoin can defend against the establishment of a central digital currency, help the U.S. achieve “energy dominance,” and strengthen national security against both domestic and foreign threats.

However, it’s not immediately apparent how Bitcoin would deter the Federal Reserve from launching a digital U.S. currency. In fact, increased cryptocurrency adoption in the U.S. could potentially accelerate the Fed’s efforts in this direction.

Regarding “energy dominance,” Trump might be referring to regulatory control over energy sources used for Bitcoin mining, rather than the substantial energy consumption associated with the process.

Bitcoin mining is notoriously energy-intensive, accounting for up to 2.3% of national electricity consumption in 2023. This significant environmental impact has led to scrutiny, and Biden’s proposed budget for 2025 includes a 30% tax on miners’ total energy costs to mitigate these effects. This aligns with Trump’s broader critique of Biden’s environmental policies.

Trump’s claim about national security is also ambiguous, given Bitcoin’s potential to facilitate illicit activities, such as terrorism and sanctions evasion. It’s possible he’s highlighting concerns over the privacy issues that could arise from a central bank controlling digital assets, contrasting them with Bitcoin’s reputation for anonymity.

Trump’s recent meeting with Bitcoin miners at Mar-a-Lago, including leaders from CleanSpark Inc. and Riot Platforms, underscores his growing interest in the crypto sector. According to CleanSpark chair Matthew Schultz, Trump expressed his understanding and support for cryptocurrencies, pledging to advocate for Bitcoin miners in the White House. He also emphasized the potential role of miners in stabilizing the national energy grid.

Historically, Trump has been critical of cryptocurrencies. In 2019, he stated he was “not a fan” of digital assets like Bitcoin, criticizing their volatility and potential for enabling unlawful activities.

He even proposed regulations requiring firms to collect information on crypto wallet holders. However, he has since reversed his position, disclosing millions in digital assets, accepting campaign donations in cryptocurrencies, and launching his own “digital trading cards.”

Bitcoin’s supply is capped at 21 million coins, with around 90% already mined. As the total supply nears its limit, the mining process becomes increasingly energy-intensive, with the reward for mining halving roughly every four years.

At this rate, Bitcoin mining is expected to continue until around 2140. Currently, the U.S. leads in Bitcoin mining, accounting for an estimated 35-40% of global production. Other major mining countries include China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Canada, and Germany, although the distributed nature of Bitcoin mining makes precise geographic determination challenging.

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