Andrew Yang withdraws democratic primary
Cryptocurrencies,  Politics

Andrew Yang, crypto’s favorite son, ends his presidential run

The blockchain enthusiast withdrew from the presidential primary after poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire

Andrew Yang, crypto’s favorite son, has ended his presidential campaign.

After single-digit showings in the Iowa and New Hampshire Democratic primary, Yang withdrew from the race yesterday. “I am the math guy,” he said, “and it is clear tonight from these numbers that we are not going to win this race.”

Yang’s presidential platform was the first to incorporate formal policies on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. He had proposed modernizing America’s voting system by creating a blockchain-secured, mobile vote-by-app system to replace fraud-vulnerable polling machines. “This would dramatically increase participation in all elections, whether local, state or federal,” he argued.

He also proposed creating a Crypto/Digital Asset Regulation and Consumer Protection plank. Yang even threw in that he would set up a cabinet-level U.S. Department of Technology to encourage and regulate new technologies. 

Noting that the rapid growth of cryptocurrency and digital assets had “outstripped the government’s response,” Yang’s proposal called for “clear guidelines as to how cryptocurrencies/digital asset markets will be treated and regulated so that investment can proceed with all relevant information.”

The candidate’s core YangGang members soon had many more cryptocurrency enthusiasts in its ranks.

Angel investor and Magical Crypto Friends member @WhalePanda—aka Stefan Jaspers, with more than 223,000 Twitter followers—was first to comment on Yang’s tweet, and promptly invited him to speak at a cryptocurrency conference in May. 

An entrepreneur who built and sold an educational start-up focused on college testing preparation, Yang claimed that the current regulatory situation made it “difficult for the US cryptocurrency markets to compete with those in other jurisdictions, especially China and Europe.” 

With a “patchwork of varying regulations” at the state level and various federal agencies simultaneously defining digital assets as property, commodities, or securities, Yang said the lack of a coherent national policy has had a “chilling effect” on the U.S. digital asset market.

“Investment in cryptocurrencies and digital assets has far outpaced our regulatory frameworks in the U.S.,” Yang said in the proposal. “We should let investors, companies, and individuals know what the landscape and treatment will be moving forward to support innovation and development. The blockchain has vast potential.”

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Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus editor-in-chief, is a New York-based journalist who has traveled the world writing about incentive travel. He has also covered consumer and employee engagement, small business, the East Coast side of the Internet boom and bust, and New York City crime, nightlife, and politics. Disclosure: Jakobson has put some 401k money into Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.