Andrew Yang Wants to Be the Crypto-Candidate for President—and He Hopes to Regulate the Blockchain, Too

May 15, 2019, 10:33 PM UTC

There’s one Democratic presidential candidate who’s got the back of the crypto community.

Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur who is running as a Democrat in the 2020 presidential race and who recently unveiled a digital-asset platform, said he’d like to see greater regulatory frameworks for the community and its underlying blockchain technology, which he thinks could help spur new innovation.

“I believe that blockchain needs to be a big part of our future,” Yang told a crowded room at the Consensus conference in New York, where he gave a keynote address Wednesday. “If I’m in the White House, oh boy are we going to have some fun in terms of the crypto currency community.”

The crypto community embraced Yang after he published a bare framework for regulation, in which he calls for clear token definitions and tax rules. He is also advocating for clarity over which agencies have regulatory capabilities, among other things.

“We just need to provide rules of the road,” Yang said in an interview on the sidelines of the conference. “We need to figure out which agency is going to be interacting with individual currencies. It would be unfortunate if every time a new currency comes out we then have to decide which framework applies,” adding that the consumer protection aspect of his platform could loosely be based on existing security law.

Yang does not directly own any cryptocurrencies but invests in at least one vehicle that has some holdings, he said. His campaign accepts crypto donations.

The upstart candidate is best known for his stance on universal basic income, a guaranteed $1,000 per month for citizens 18 and older, in an attempt to cushion the blow of job losses due to new technologies and automation, and to stave off another crisis.

The under-the-radar candidate has been gaining steam in an increasingly crowded field of contenders. Yang’s online following has boomed over the past two months as he’s made his rounds around the country. His bid is bolstered by his perpetual media appearances, including on Joe Rogan’s popular podcast. He announced recently that’s he’s crossed the Democratic National Committee’s threshold of 65,000 donors to participate in the first debates.

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