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Trump pledges support for cryptocurrency, criticizes Democratic regulation efforts 

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump positioned himself as a champion for cryptocurrency and criticized Democratic attempts to regulate the sector during a San Francisco fundraiser on Thursday, three sources present told Reuters.

Trump raised $12 million at the event 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 crypto president,” Trevor Traina, a San Francisco-based tech executive and former Trump ambassador to Austria, told Reuters.

The crypto industry is increasingly trying to influence U.S. politicians as it faces heightened scrutiny from regulators. This is especially true since bankruptcies at major crypto firms in 2022 spooked investors, exposed fraud and misconduct, and left millions of investors out of pocket.

Trump touted crypto as important and stressed his strong support for the sector, said Republican National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon.

However, Dhillon noted that Trump, who is running to unseat Democratic incumbent Joe Biden in the upcoming election, did not offer specifics on his proposed crypto policy.

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In 2022, Biden signed an executive order 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 to address risks in the crypto ecosystem.

The White House has also expressed eagerness to work with Congress to develop a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson said the Biden administration supports innovation in digital assets while seeking to protect consumers from “risks associated with new technologies.”

Despite San Francisco’s liberal leanings, a growing number of high-profile local venture capitalists and crypto investors have thrown their support behind Trump, citing excessive regulation as a primary reason.

“President Trump made clear that the Biden-Gensler crusade against crypto will grind to a halt within one hour of a second Trump administration,” said Jacob Helberg, an adviser to data analytics provider Palantir, referring to SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

Executives from crypto exchange Coinbase, crypto investor twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and other crypto leaders attended the fundraiser, Dhillon added. A spokesperson for Gemini, the company founded by the Winklevoss twins, did not immediately comment.

Sacks and Palihapitiya have publicly discussed their investments in crypto, particularly in bitcoin. The founder of the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried, was found guilty last year of stealing from customers, with prosecutors alleging he used those funds to donate more than $100 million to U.S. political campaigns.

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