Crypto’s New Political Vanguard to Watch in 2023
Here’s what five incoming and influential politicians friendly to crypto causes are planning in the year ahead
Source: VideoFlow/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks
As 2022 comes to a close, lawmakers around the world are lining up their 2023 agendas — and, for many politicians, crypto is expected to be near the top of them.
A plethora of new politicians sympathetic to crypto causes won office this year in the US and abroad. Here’s a look at some of those rising digital asset supporters set to set the tone for policy in the new year.
Rishi Sunak: United Kingdom, Prime Minister
Sunak, the European country’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer, took over following the resignation of Liz Truss, who served for just 45 days.
During his time in office under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Sunak made his interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology known. He pushed for plans to make the UK a hub for blockchain-based technology and related investments.
“It’s my ambition to make the UK a global hub for cryptoasset technology, and the measures we’ve outlined today will help to ensure firms can invest, innovate and scale up in this country,” Sunak said in a statement. “This is part of our plan to ensure the UK financial services industry is always at the forefront of technology and innovation.”
Sitiveni Rabuka: Fiji, Prime Minister
Rabuka took office on Dec. 24, after holding the same position previously for four years in the 1990s. Rabuka is expected to pursue making bitcoin legal tender in the country, in line with Tonga and other South Pacific jurisdictions.
While such formal policies have yet to be introduced, Lord Fusitu, a former member of Tongan’s parliament, said Rabuka has met with him to discuss how to roll out bitcoin as legal tender. If all goes well, Fusitu’a added, Fiji may also become a bitcoin mining hub in the near future — although the island nation does have an initiative in place requiring all energy to be powered by renewable resources by 2030.
Pierre Poilievre: Canada, leader of the “Official Opposition”
Poilievre, a former member of the North American country’s parliament, won the top Conservative party’s position in September and is expected to go up against incumbent Justin Trudeau for prime minister in 2025.
The Conservative leader has declared an ownership stake in a bitcoin ETF and a Canadian spot fund, as well as disclosing that he holds additional cryptoassets. Earlier in the year, he expressed interest in allowing Canadians to use bitcoin as a means of payment.
Yoon Suk Yeol: South Korea, President
Politically conservative opposition candidate Yoon won South Korea’s presidential election in March following a narrow victory over political rival Lee Jae-myung. The election marked the start of a potential boon for the crypto scene in South Korea as both candidates ran on promises to deregulate the digital asset industry.
Yoon promised to increase the capital gains tax threshold for crypto transactions set to be taxed by 20% next year. The move has been viewed as a means to attract younger voters now staring down rising house prices, mounting income inequality and soaring personal debt.
J.D. Vance: US, Senator-elect
Incoming Sen. Vance, (R-Ohio), won a seat up for grabs after Sen. Rob Portman announced his retirement. Vance, a venture capitalist with tech interests and a published author, reported owning $250,000 in bitcoin holdings.
Vance was a vocal opponent of President Biden’s infrastructure bill and the accompanying reporting requirements for crypto companies and miners. In February, he tweeted that crypto was “taking off,” because people are increasingly concerned about government interference in their finances.
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