The 2020 US presidential candidate Andrew Yang – who is famous for his flagship policy of giving every American over the age of 18 $1,000 a month – made an appearance at Consensus 2019 last week to talk about his support for a better US regulatory framework for the digital asset and cryptocurrency industry.
Speaking at the event, Yang said that he believes “that blockchain needs to be a big part of our future”, stating that if he makes it to the White House, “oh boy are we going to have some fun in terms of the cryptocurrency community”.
I'm not part of the Yang Gang but I am intrigued to see a 2020 candidate with a position on cryptos. Blockchain is about all that will stop Russia from deciding our elections again and again … https://t.co/XO27Vunyzp
— Goddess #8645 (@DelrayDiva) May 16, 2019
At the moment, Yang is seen by many as a fringe candidate for the Democratic nomination. Given his 3% national polling numbers to date, it is clear that his current brand recognition is far below that of other leading contenders like Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.
Yang has qualified for the upcoming Democratic primary debates after receiving a fundraising haul of $1.7 million from over 80,000 individual donors in February and March this year.
In reaching the debates, he becomes the first non-elected official to have made it to the DNC primary stage in 40 years. The first Democratic primary debates will take place on June 26 and June 27 in Miami, Florida, with the lineups for each night chosen at random.
‘An Asian guy who likes maths’
Yang describes himself as the opposite of Donald Trump or as he says it “an Asian guy who likes maths”. His love for numbers is very much in line with the ideals of cryptography and provable scarcity, which sit at the core of the digital asset revolution.
According to Yang, uncertainty about the regulatory framework that has been implemented by agencies like the SEC and CFTC “is causing US investment in the area to lag behind the investment of other countries”.
Yang has said it’s now time for the “federal government to create clear guidelines as to how cryptocurrencies/digital asset markets will be treated and regulated”.
If elected as the new US president, he has promised “to promote legislation that provides clarity in the cryptocurrency/digital asset market” by implementing a number of specific initiatives like “defining what a token is and when it is a security” and providing clarity on “which federal agencies have regulatory power over the crypto/digital assets space”.
Other policy promises include better “consumer protection in the space” and clarification of the “tax implications of owning, selling, and trading digital assets”.
A spotlight on crypto?
Given that at this stage in the 2016 election Trump was also polling in the single digits, many analysts who picked Trump early have started to back the Schenectady County-born candidate based on his influential ‘meme army’ (dubbed the #YangGang) and his opinion-splitting policies like the “freedom dividend”.
If during any potential political ascent Yang manages to shine a spotlight on the cryptocurrency and digital assets debate, the Democratic hopeful may spark newfound political interest from the US-based crypto community as the race for the next leader of the free world kicks into hyperdrive this summer.