Which world leaders have made big promises on crypto?

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Few world leaders have been openly supportive of digital assets while in office or while they were campaigning. Though the technology is relatively young and untested as a political issue, many candidates have staked their reputations on crypto and blockchain.

Nayib Bukele, El Salvador

Now the former president of El Salvador as he campaigns for his next term in office, Nayib Bukele is arguably the most outspoken head of state in the world on cryptocurrency. He pioneered a legislative path to make Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender in El Salvador in 2021. He directly tied his presidency to the cryptocurrency, periodically boasting about buys on X — formerly Twitter.

Under Bukele, BTC kiosks have been installed across El Salvador, and the president reported in December that the country’s Bitcoin investments were profitable after the crypto market downturn of 2022. In 2024, El Salvador’s Ministry of Education plans to introduce a Bitcoin education program for public schools.

Javier Milei, Argentina

In November, Javier Milei won a presidential run-off election in Argentina against his opponent, Sergio Massa, amid staggering inflation and general discontent with the country’s economy. Milei once referred to Bitcoin (BTC) as a movement toward “the return of money to its original creator, the private sector.”

Many crypto proponents in Argentina have called on the new president to follow Bukele’s path in recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender in the country and ignore requirements for the Financial Action Task Force’s Travel Rule. At the time of publication, Milei had been in office for less than a week and had not enacted any crypto-related policies.

Donald Trump, United States of America

Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, is currently facing multiple felony charges related to his role in attempting to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election and fraudulent business practices. He hasn’t been the most outspoken voice on crypto in the Republican Party — see Vivek Ramaswamy or Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — but has tied digital assets directly to his 2024 campaign.

Trump has had a few nonfungible token (NFT) drops, including one featuring his mugshot from his surrender to authorities in Georgia. However, following his departure from office in 2021, he referred to cryptocurrencies as “fake” and “a disaster waiting to happen.”

Rishi Sunak, United Kingdom

Coming to power after a politically and economically chaotic time in the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak supported several policies in favor of digital assets ahead of being sworn in as U.K. Prime Minister. In 2020 and 2021, as chancellor of the Exchequer, Sunak said he planned to prioritize financial technology, and officials would consult on pioneering reforms “to support the safe adoption of cryptoassets and stablecoins.”

Since assuming office in October 2022, Sunak has largely not spoken publicly about cryptocurrencies. Shortly after Sunak became prime minister, crypto exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy, and a series of high-profile collapses and arrests shook the space.

Faustin-Archange Touadéra, Central African Republic

Like Trump and Bukele, Central African Republic (CAR) President Faustin-Archange Touadéra is an active social media user, announcing policies related to crypto and blockchain on X. In April 2022, Touadéra announced Bitcoin would be considered legal tender in the CAR alongside the franc. He later launched Sango, an initiative to establish a “legal crypto hub” in the CAR to attract businesses and global crypto enthusiasts.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, whose 2020 reelection was marked by claims of widespread voter fraud against opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, has backed policies aimed at supporting cryptocurrency mining in the Russia-allied country. In 2019, Lukashenko proposed deploying excess energy from a nuclear power plant to mine and sell crypto. He later reportedly urged Belarusian workers to pursue opportunities at crypto mining firms rather than farming positions in other countries.

Before the highly disputed election, Lukashenko was an early adopter of digital assets in Belarus, proposing legalizing cryptocurrency and certain initial coin offerings in 2017. Since the Russian military invaded Ukraine in 2022, Belarus has been subject to many of the same sanctions imposed on Russia, including the illicit uses of crypto.

Philip Davis, The Bahamas

Many in the crypto space associate the Bahamas with the island nation that used to house the headquarters of defunct crypto exchange FTX and its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried. Part of why a firm like FTX relocated to the Bahamas in 2021 was the country’s favorable crypto regulation, and Prime Minister Philip Davis supported such policies.

Before the collapse of FTX, Davis said the Bahamas aimed to establish a regulatory regime allowing crypto firms to “grow and prosper” on the island. The prime minister said he supported the Bahamas’ central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Sand Dollar, launched in 2020.



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