Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida declared his candidacy for the US presidency during a Twitter Spaces conversation alongside CEO Elon Musk and venture capitalist David Sacks on Wednesday.
In a broad conversation marked by technical difficulties, there were extended periods of silence and occasional hurried whispers. But amidst these challenges, DeSantis did manage to address his position on cryptocurrencies and digital assets, providing answers to those curious about his stance.
During the conversation, which attracted an audience of some 2.6 million, he expressed his endorsement of bitcoin (BTC) and portrayed the attempts made by his opponents to regulate cryptocurrency as unwarranted government interference.
“The only reason these people in Washington don’t like it is because they don’t control it,” DeSantis said in response to a question about his views on the currency posed by Sacks.
“They’re central planners and they want to have control over society and so bitcoin represents a threat to them,” he added.
The SEC under the Biden administration has pursued a series of enforcement actions against cryptocurrency companies in the last year.
Governor DeSantis also made it clear that he would strongly stand against any potential attempt by Congress to ban bitcoin, although the prospect has never seriously been considered.
Technically, it’s no more possible to ban bitcoin than it is to ban a global commodity like gold — all the US government could do would be to ban itself and its citizens from making use of Bitcoin.
DeSantis has is considered a top rival to Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, although he currently lags behind the former US president by a significant margin of over 30 percentage points in early polls.
Trump’s general view on crypto has been negative, although policy-wise, little happened during his presidency. Both he and his wife Melania have launched NFT collections since leaving the White House.
“I as president will protect the ability to do things like bitcoin,” DeSantis said. “I just do not have an itch to have to control everything that people may be doing in this space.”
He added that the Biden administration has clear hostility towards cryptocurrencies and that if it stays in power for another four years, “they’ll probably end up killing it,” without putting forward any theory on how.
Sacks agreed with him and acknowledged the large crypto community on Twitter, while Musk chimed in to mention the presence of a similar audience for dogecoin (DOGE).
Relatedly, DeSantis mentioned that he is not in favor of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). He highlighted that Florida recently banned the use of government issued digital dollars as a form of money in the state.
“If I’m President, we are not doing a central bank digital currency,” he said regarding the potential implementation of a CBDC on a national level. “I think that that would be a huge, huge imposition on people’s financial freedoms and financial privacy.”
He expressed that CBDCs would result in a significant shift of power from individual consumers to a central authority, and that this would be detrimental to a free society.
DeSantis has previously defended efforts in Florida school districts to ban books from libraries over the objections of advocates for literary freedoms.