2024 election showdown: will votes decide crypto’s fate?

In summary, neither the Indian National Congress (INC) nor the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have explicitly mentioned cryptocurrency, blockchain, or Web3 in their manifestos. However, they have indirectly addressed digital transactions and cybersecurity issues. India’s crypto regulations are expected to remain largely unchanged in the near future, regardless of the election outcome.

What is the impact on international cryptocurrency regulations when it comes to the results of elections in India and the United States? With India witnessing a surge in crypto adoption and the US continuing to hold sway, let’s examine the potential implications.

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The current elections in India and forthcoming elections in the United States may significantly impact the cryptocurrency market due to each country’s unique economic influence globally.

As a researcher studying the global crypto market, I’ve discovered that India holds the title as the world’s most populous crypto hub with over 1.4 billion inhabitants. Intriguingly, around 6.55% of this vast population, equating to approximately 93.5 million individuals, have embraced cryptocurrencies and are now proud owners.

Approximately 52.9 million Americans, representing around 15.56% of the country’s total population of roughly 340 million people, own crypto assets.

Approximately 15% of American cryptocurrency holders have amassed over ten thousand dollars’ worth of digital assets in the United States. The clout of this demographic is on the rise, as one out of every five Americans now owns some form of cryptocurrency.

Among this group, Democrats make up 22%, Republicans account for 18%, and Independents comprise 22%. Furthermore, approximately 60% belong to the younger generations, including Gen Z and Millennials, while over four in ten are minorities.

As a cryptocurrency market analyst, I would emphasize that the heterogeneous group of crypto voters holds significant influence in the upcoming 2024 elections. In particular, their impact will be noteworthy in crucial swing states where election outcomes are frequently determined by slim margins.

Unlike the anticipated crypto policy shifts following India’s 2024 general election, it is believed that no significant changes will occur right away.

Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister with plans for a third term, is expected to maintain his cautious approach towards cryptocurrencies, including the 1% income tax levy on each transaction.

As an analyst, I’ve observed that while India has been rapidly integrating digital assets into its economy, cryptocurrencies continue to be a less prioritized concern for most Indian voters. Overriding economic and societal issues take precedence in their voting decisions.

Changing stance of political leaders in the U.S. about crypto

The political landscape in the United States is undergoing significant changes with respect to cryptocurrencies. Previously, former President Donald Trump held one view, while current President Joe Biden holds a different perspective – both of which possess the potential to cause substantial fluctuations in the crypto market.

To gain a deeper comprehension of these modifications, we secured unique perspectives from the leaders in the crypto sphere: Mihał Popieszalski, the CEO of MatterFi, Tim Delhaes, the head of Grindery, and Nishal Shetty, the helmsman at WazirX.

The Trump presidential campaign unveiled its plans to accept cryptocurrency donations, signaling a notable shift in stance from the candidate’s earlier criticisms of digital currencies.

I don’t support the use of Bitcoin and similar Cryptocurrencies, which aren’t true forms of money and possess extreme price instability. The worth of these unregulated Crypto Assets is largely determined by speculation and lacks a solid foundation. They can be exploited for illicit activities, such as drug trafficking and other unlawful dealings.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019

Any federally authorized donor can now make contributions to the campaign through its fundraising platform, utilizing crypto assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), US Dollar Coin (USDC), along with lesser-valued coins like Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogecoin (DOGE).

OFFICIAL: 🇺🇸 Trump campaign is now accepting #Bitcoin and crypto

Donations page is LIVE! 🔥

— Radar🚨 (@RadarHits) May 21, 2024

The choice is resonating strongly with a growing number of young male investors, particularly those interested in digital assets.

Trump’s affinity for cryptocurrencies is not a recent development. In fact, he has previously amassed substantial funds from this digital realm. How so? Through the sales of Trump Digital Trading Cards as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Popieszalski provided insights into the political implications of this decision:

The political landscape of the United States has undergone changes throughout history, marked by growing divisions and the surge of populist movements. Lately, cryptocurrencies have gained prominence in this context, shaping debates on policies and influencing electoral tactics.

Instead of this: “On the other hand, the Biden administration seems to be planning a shift in its crypto regulation stance, possibly moving toward alignment with the digital asset community before the November election.”

Based on the latest development, the SEC’s decision to approve a spot Ethereum ETF marks a significant shift in their position. This speculation reflects that change.

As a researcher studying the SEC’s actions regarding the proposed spot Ethereum ETF, I find it challenging to accept the idea that they would grant approval, given their past stance on Bitcoin ETFs. However, policy is inherently political, and crypto has been making significant strides in the political arena for quite some time now. It’s plausible that the Biden administration, aware of the potential voter base that could be swayed by a pro-crypto comment, has chosen to shift its position on this issue.

— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) May 21, 2024

Haseeb Qureshi, the Managing Partner at Dragonfly, posits that in a close election, Biden may adopt a more lenient stance towards cryptocurrencies to prevent losing significant voter support, expressing, “He isn’t willing to risk votes in a narrow contest over an issue of minor importance to him.”

As a researcher, I’ve been maintaining for weeks that President Biden would take a more lenient stance towards cryptocurrencies in the run-up to the election. Given the tight race, he wouldn’t risk losing votes over an issue of minor importance to him. The recent approval of a Bitcoin ETF is the first indication of this trend, and I anticipate other regulatory bodies following suit in the coming months.

— Haseeb >|< (@hosseeb) May 21, 2024

Delhaes mentioned:

As a political analyst, I can tell you that the presidential race is currently so close that candidates are leaving no stone unturned in their quest for votes. This includes reaching out to various niche groups, such as myself, who have a strong interest in cryptocurrency.

Popieszalski further commented: 

As a crypto investor, I believe the unexpected surge in optimistic views towards spot Ethereum Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) can be attributed to the acceptance of cryptocurrencies within traditional financial markets and regulatory bodies. The approval of these ETFs is a clear indication that regulatory agencies are adapting to the political and economic pressures, which have been building up for some time now.

However, this shift is not without its complexities. Delhaes noted:

The acceptance of ETH ETFs based on spot Ethereum indicates that the cryptocurrency market is growing up. Yet, this development brings up questions regarding potential political influences seeking to tighten control over the decentralized crypto space via regulatory measures.

Nishal Shetty, CEO of WazirX, added:

In contrast to India, where crypto policies hold minimal significance for voters, the United States holds an edge due to robust backing from political parties on crypto strategies, notwithstanding obstacles posed by regulatory bodies like the SEC.

India’s influence on the crypto world 

In simple terms, the significance of cryptocurrencies as a topic in Indian elections is relatively low. The average voter is not well-versed in Web3 technologies and their applications, finding them intricate and unfamiliar.

The high tax rate of 1% per transaction imposed on cryptocurrency deals in India may not have a substantial impact on the forthcoming elections.

These days, significant concerns such as joblessness, religious conflicts, minority protection, campaign financing, judicial autonomy, and agricultural reforms take center stage in political debates.

As a researcher studying political manifestos in India, I’ve noticed that neither the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor the Indian National Congress (INC) have explicitly addressed cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, or Web3 in their election documents.

As a researcher studying political discourse in India, I’ve observed that parties don’t always explicitly discuss their plans for cryptocurrency regulation in clear terms. Instead, they tend to employ nuanced language when addressing this topic, which may not directly convey their intentions but doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of planning.

The BJP’s pledge includes educating elderly citizens regarding digital frauds and taking necessary steps to safeguard India’s digital autonomy. On the other hand, the INC focuses on implementing digital records for agricultural transactions and tackling cybersecurity risks that may endanger India’s digital financial system.

In Modi’s second tenure, the government implemented various cryptocurrency regulations. Notably, they imposed a 30% tax on income derived from digital asset transactions, disallowed setting off losses against gains, and mandated a 1% withholding tax for every trade.

Citing ways to mitigate India’s lackluster approach, Shetty mentioned:

Encouraging budding developers, institutional investors, venture capitalists, and creators of Web3 to develop practical solutions for domestic market issues using blockchain technology, while also reducing the tax burden on digital asset ownership, are effective measures to position India as a leader in the global blockchain movement.

In the forthcoming election results, India’s Web3 policies are predicted to stay consistent regardless. If Modi secures a victory, his existing policies will persist, with crypto regulations possibly taking a back seat for the time being. On the other hand, if the opposition emerges victorious, they will likely prioritize other pressing matters first.

Shetty further added:

India’s crypto ownership is significant, yet it still has a distance to cover before taking the lead in this domain. The progress may not be as swift as some in the community had anticipated, but over the past few years, regulators have shown openness to engaging in dialogue and collaboration with industry players.

How U.S. election results could influence crypto regulations

The forthcoming U.S. presidential election outcomes will significantly influence the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies. A Trump or Biden victory may lead to distinctly diverse policies shaping the future direction of the crypto market.

According to Popieszalski:

The Trump administration could potentially adopt a more lenient regulatory approach towards cryptocurrencies, fostering growth and financial commitment within the industry.

As a researcher examining Trump’s engagement with cryptocurrencies, I’ve noticed some intriguing developments. Trump’s decision to accept donations in digital assets underscores his backing for this burgeoning industry. This stance might resonate strongly with tech-savvy young voters who are deeply involved in the crypto community.

As an analyst, I’ve observed a shift in the Biden administration’s previously cautious stance towards cryptocurrencies. This observation is supported by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) granting approval for a spot Ether Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF). The emergence of this regulatory decision could signal a potential softening of the administration’s position on crypto assets.

Although this may be the case, the Biden administration is expected to prioritize consumer safeguards and financial security, potentially resulting in increased regulatory measures.

Popieszalski notes:

As a crypto investor, I could rephrase that statement as follows: “With a Biden administration prioritizing consumer protection and financial stability, we might expect stricter regulatory measures in the future.”

Delhaes echoing Popieszalski’s words said: 

As a crypto investor, I believe that no matter who wins the U.S. presidential election – be it Joe Biden or Donald Trump – the country will continue to exert significant influence over international cryptocurrency regulations. If Biden secures the victory, we can anticipate a continuation of existing regulatory frameworks. On the other hand, should Trump win again, his administration might prioritize other issues, potentially slowing down the progress of international crypto regulation.

The U.S. House of Representatives’ “Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act” shows unity between Democrats and Republicans, promoting technological progress in the realm of digital assets. This legislation is designed to encourage developments within the cryptocurrency industry.

As an analyst, I would emphasize the significance of clear regulations and a robust domestic Web3 infrastructure, based on Shettyl’s suggestions.

Indian leaders should consistently prioritize regulatory clarity, no matter which government is in charge. It’s crucial for India to establish a strong domestic web3 ecosystem, with a particular emphasis on supporting the youth to engage with this technology and pursue careers in it. By doing so, we can channel our resources effectively towards advancing India’s web3 development goals.

As a crypto investor, I can tell you that the outcome of the US presidential election between Trump and Biden will have significant repercussions around the globe. India, in particular, is keeping a close eye on the situation, as their stance towards cryptocurrencies could pave the way for a new global regulatory landscape.

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2024-05-27 20:17