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Former U.S. Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Discusses Crypto at Blockchain Summit

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read

Former United States presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, took the stage at the North American Blockchain Summit to discuss issues and innovation surrounding digital assets on Thursday, November 16th.

A pro-tech proponent

Yang, who is a self-described “big proponent of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies generally,” founded the pro-tech, centrist Forward Party in 2021.

During the summit, Yang was openly critical of the current state of blockchain technology in the United States, particularly in regards to its media coverage and the potential for it to drive business out of the country.

“The way to avoid this fate is to have positive use cases for blockchain in solving problems for the American people,” stated Yang. “Unfortunately, what they see in the news is just Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX.”

The regulatory crackdown continues

Yang also criticized the regulatory environment regarding digital asset oversight in the United States, equating the atmosphere to “let’s wait until the fiasco happens, and then we’ll have hearings on it afterwards.”

Yang’s comments follow a week that saw numerous hearings on crypto crime, legislation, and regulation. On November 14th, the Senate Banking Committee met with U.S. regulators to oversight of the digital asset sector. The following day, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets met to crack down on cryptocurrency crime and terrorist funding following Hamas’ deadly October 7th attack, which saw 1200 Israelis killed.

“It’s essential that we hold bad actors in the digital asset ecosystem accountable in order for legitimate players to thrive,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry.

Following the hearing, members of the House Financial Services Committee penned a letter to President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen

“We request the White House and the Treasury to utilize the open blockchain ledger to assess the footprint of Hamas’s digital asset fundraising campaign,” stated House Majority Whip Tom Emmer. “In doing this, Congress can better understand the United States’ available tools and capabilities to target bad actors on blockchain and support legitimate digital asset use and innovation.”

Yang for president?

Moreover, Yang was hopeful about the influence blockchain technology could have when it comes to addressing significant societal issues.

“We have not scratched the surface of what these tools can do to combat poverty,” Yang addressed.

Previously, Yang announced his ideological support for a universal basic income, which he noted would not necessarily need to be paid in fiat.

Yang has yet to formally rule out a bid for the 2024 presidential election.