Trump introduces himself as ‘president of crypto’ at tech fundraiser in San Francisco

By Alexandra Ulmer

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump portrayed himself as a champion of cryptocurrencies and criticized Democrats’ attempts to regulate the sector at a fundraiser in San Francisco on Thursday, three sources present told Reuters.

Trump raised $12 million from the fundraiser hosted by tech venture capitalists David Sacks and Chamath Palihapitiya at Sacks’ home in the upscale Pacific Heights neighborhood.

“He said he would be the president of crypto” Trevor Trainaa San Francisco-based technology executive and former Trump ambassador to Austria, told Reuters.

The crypto industry is increasingly trying to influence US politicians as it faces increased scrutiny from regulators, especially as major crypto companies bankrupt in 2022 have scared investors, exposed fraud and malpractice, and left millions of investors out of pocket.

Trump touted crypto as important and stressed that he was very supportive of the sector, Republican National Committee member Harmeet Dhillon said.

Dhillon said Trump, who is running to unseat Democratic incumbent Joe Biden in the Nov. 5 election, has not provided details about his proposed crypto policy.

Biden signed an executive order in 2022 aimed at ensuring the responsible development of digital assets, which led to reports urging regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to issue guidance and rules for manage crypto risks. ecosystem.

The White House under Biden has also said it looks forward to working with Congress to develop a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

While San Francisco is heavily liberal, a growing number of local high-profile venture capitalists and crypto investors have thrown their support behind Trump, with several citing excessive regulation among their reasons.

“President Trump has made it clear that the Biden-Gensler crusade against crypto will stop within an hour of a second Trump administration,” said Jacob Helberg, an advisor to data analytics provider Palantir, referring to the president of the SEC, Gary Gensler.

Executives from crypto exchange Coinbase, crypto investor twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and other crypto executives were in attendance Thursday, Dhillon added.

A spokesperson for Gemini, the company founded by the Winklevoss twins, had no immediate comment.

Sacks and Palihapitiya have spoken publicly about their investments in crypto, including bitcoin.

The founder of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was convicted last year of stealing from customers. Prosecutors say he used those funds to donate more than $100 million to U.S. political campaigns.

(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; additional reporting by Hannah Lang; editing by Rod Nickel)

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