Addressing the vast crowd of people on the concluding day of the 2023 Bitcoin Conference held in Miami, Florida, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democratic candidate for the presidency, strongly incorporated bitcoin into his campaign agenda. He emphasized the importance of safeguarding bitcoin from what he referred to as “intrusive surveillance.”
Kennedy expressed concerns about the current digital era, highlighting the alarming extent to which technology has empowered governments and corporations to exert control over people’s lives.
He emphasized that distant and impersonal multinational entities, along with authoritarian technologies, have invaded people’s domains of activity that were once considered private or community-held.
Additionally, Kennedy pointed out that these technologies have the capability to surveil and track individuals’ movements, communications, and financial transactions.
Kennedy expressed that his support for bitcoin solidified when he personally witnessed the Canadian government employ surveillance and data tracking systems to restrict truckers participating in a protest against COVID-19 mandates from accessing their bank accounts, thereby attempting to dismantle the demonstration.
In his keynote speech, Kennedy specifically criticized President Joe Biden’s proposal to impose a 30% tax on energy consumption by bitcoin miners. He argued that such a tax would necessitate the implementation of an intrusive surveillance mechanism to monitor the energy usage of everyone.
“It sets a terrible precedent in which everything that you do that requires electricity must now be monitored by the government,” added Kennedy, insisting that he would support people’s rights to reject smart meters in their homes.
He added :
As President, I will make sure that your right to hold and use bitcoin is inviolable, and I will defend the right of self-custody. I don’t think the government has the right to demand access to your bitcoin key or indeed any of your passwords. To say otherwise is to cede essential territory to the surveillance state. The whole point of bitcoin is that it’s decentralized. Anyone can run a node, and it’s important not only for bitcoin but for democracy to be decentralized.