EXCLUSIVE: Will Trump's Possible Return To Power Make Bitcoin, Ethereum Go Boom Or Bust? Experts Weigh In On Crypto's Regulatory Future (CORRECTED)


Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct name of Bittrex Global CEO.

Former President Donald Trump's ongoing embrace of cryptocurrencies has galvanized the advocates of the asset class like never before, with many persuaded by the firebrand leader’s huge promises for the sector if he returns to office.

However, vociferous poll campaigning and introducing concrete policy changes needed for the sustained growth of the digital asset ecosystem could be two very different things. 

To cut through the noise, Benzinga talked to experts to understand the potential changes the industry can expect if Trump makes his way to the White House again. 

What Can We Expect?

Oliver Linch, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global, predicted key personnel changes at the Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC), as part of Trump's efforts to bring the regulator in line with his new cryptocurrency-friendly policies.

"Even in advance of an actual victory, key SEC personnel may — if a Trump victory looks likely — start to pivot in anticipation of such a change," Linch opined. 

That said, he doubted if such changes would be “instantaneous," as filling commissioner posts will take time due to confirmation from the Senate. 

Legal expert James L. Koutoulas from Koutoulas Law, LLC made a bolder prediction. He said that the easiest thing for Trump to do upon assuming office is to fire current SEC Chair Gary Gensler and replace him with Commissioner Hester Peirce, who was appointed by Trump in 2018.  

"Ms. Peirce has been one of the leading thought leaders for implementing rational transition policies from an unregulated pioneer market to a regulated one," Koutoulas asserted.

Kadan Stadelmann, CTO at Komodo, believes Trump will sign executive orders. "Among them, one or more could specifically benefit the crypto industry. Later, he could encourage Congress to work on passing a comprehensive crypto industry bill," Stadelmann said. 

The Resistance In Trump's Way

Nearly all the analysts Benzinga reached out to flagged significant political bottlenecks in Trump's quest for liberalized cryptocurrency policies.

Kadan Stadelmann called the U.S. Senate the "biggest potential resistance point," where Democrats currently hold the majority by a small margin.

James Koutoulas was more specific, deeming the strong opposition from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as one of the biggest challenges to Trump. 

Interestingly, Trump aggressively targeted Warren in one of his latest campaign speeches, saying, "I will keep Elizabeth Warren and her goons away from your Bitcoin BTC/USD."

Warren was locked in a high-stakes battle for Massachusetts against pro-bono XRP XRP/USD attorney John Deaton.

What Does The Future Hold?

Linch noted that a Republican administration was likely to make more pro-cryptocurrency overtures, given how Trump's speeches have appealed to hotter narratives like NFTs, DeFi, and self-custody. 

With a larger focus on this decentralized and privatized aspect of crypto, we would likely see a scrapping of any potential CBDC projects," Linch forecasted.

Trump’s office did not immediately respond to Benzinga’s request for comment.

On-chain analytics platform Glassnode already sees Bitcoin consolidation near its all-time high and Ethereum ETH/USD ETF-induced surge as promising signs of strength.

These insights set the stage for deeper discussions at the upcoming Benzinga Future of Digital Assets event on Nov. 19.

Read Next: NFTs Vulnerable To Frauds And Scams, Says US Treasury — Calls For Tighter Regulations

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