Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., known for accepting Bitcoin campaign donations, pledges to resist the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the United States. He raises concerns about citizen privacy and government control.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a presidential candidate who made headlines for being the first to accept Bitcoin for campaign donations, has taken a stand against the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the United States. In doing so, he aligns himself with former President Donald Trump, who has also voiced opposition to CBDC development.
Kennedy's stance on CBDCs was made clear in a media appearance on X, where he discussed the potential threats posed by such digital currencies. The conversation occurred during a discussion with Joseph Mercola, a proponent of alternative medicine known for advocating "alternative remedies" for COVID-19 on his podcast, "Take Control Over Your Health."
During a one-minute video segment, Kennedy asserted that CBDCs would grant the government the ability to track every transaction made by citizens, thereby increasing the risk of blackmail and pressure. He drew attention to the example of China, where the "digital yuan" is linked to an extensive social credit system. According to U.S. politicians, the Chinese government can cut off an individual's access to their funds if surveillance cameras detect non-compliance.
Kennedy's concerns are supported by a 2023 Chainalysis report, which highlighted privacy issues for Chinese citizens. The report warned that China could combine financial data generated by the digital yuan with other supporting information and integrate it into its social credit system.
The presidential candidate pledged to halt any efforts to introduce a CBDC if he were to become president, emphasizing his commitment to preserving the use of physical cash. However, Kennedy also noted that Bitcoin offers better protection for individuals than traditional cash.
Notably, another presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has twice declared his promise to never allow a CBDC in the United States. While Trump had made negative remarks about Bitcoin during his presidency, some of his former Republican Party rivals, such as Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, adopted pro-crypto and anti-CBDC positions during their own presidential campaigns. Both Ramaswamy and DeSantis endorsed Trump after withdrawing from the race.
Kennedy, who left the Democratic Party in October 2023, continues to face challenges in securing a spot on state ballots. The requirements for ballot access within a political party typically involve fewer voter signatures than running as an independent candidate. In January 2024, Kennedy indicated his willingness to consider a run as a candidate for the Libertarian Party.