Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the long-shot candidate challenging Joe Biden for the Democratic 2024 nomination, believes the CIA had a role in the assassination of his uncle, JFK. He opposes vaccines on the grounds they’re a medical conspiracy, and he has boosted a theory that Bill Gates is out to control us all with microchips. He’s a crackpot in other words.
But since Kennedy’s family is political royalty, he is no ordinary crackpot. Thanks to his pedigree, he has an outsize megaphone and can summon audiences that would otherwise pay no attention to him or his kooky ideas. Those audiences include the throngs next week at the annual tribal gathering known as Bitcoin Miami, where Kennedy will make his first official appearance as a presidential candidate.
He was invited to speak because he’s an outspoken advocate for crypto, recently defending the industry against the White House’s apparent attempt to use the banking crisis in an attempt to smother it. His positions on crypto have been correct, or at least defensible—unlike, say, his unfounded stance on the “harms” of 5G—and so it is understandable the Bitcoin crowd is rolling out the red carpet for him.
You can also make the case that, at a time when crypto is under attack from the most powerful people in the country, the industry needs to embrace every political ally it can find. Meanwhile, it’s also true that polling shows large majorities of the country dread the idea of a rematch of the 2020 election, and some people would prefer to take a flyer on anyone else—even a well-known kook—than have to again choose between a geriatric and a fascist coup enabler.
Still, the crypto world should be careful not to embrace Kennedy too closely. This is partly because he’s also being boosted by some nasty figures from the far right—including Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, and Tucker Carlson—who are no doubt trying to foment mischief ahead of the election. But it’s also because, if crypto is looking for political torchbearers, it has much better options on both the left and the right, including Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) and Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), who can accomplish far more for the cause.
Kennedy might believe he needs the crypto vote, but it doesn’t need him.
Jeff John Roberts
The IRS and Chainalysis are training Ukrainians in Frankfurt to trace crypto assets owned by Russian criminal oligarchs. (WSJ)
A judge ruled that $300 million held in custody wallets at BlockFi belongs to customers, while $375 million of client money held in interest-bearing accounts is part of the bankruptcy estate. (Coindesk)
Crypto miners like Hive Blockchain are repurposing some GPU cards, once used for Ethereum mining, for A.I. research. (Bloomberg)
Europe's pro-crypto fintech giant, Revolut, is facing scrutiny after its CFO and top U.K. banking executive abruptly quit. (FT)
Coinbase's lawyer apologized for failing to understand the nuances of the Pepe the Frog meme after he was besieged by enraged Pepe coin groupies. (Fortune)
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