Discover more from Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality
Þe Grift Is Very Strong in Ron DeSantis—and in Elon Musk & David Sacks
Trying to prohibit people from having access to a central bank-backed BlockChain StableCoin because it would siphon demand away from BitCoin (& DogeCoin!) & so lower their prices is really not a...
…good look at all. Yet that is what Musk and Sacks maneuvered DeSantis—wittingly & willingly?—into making his close about in his presidential campaign launch event.
Apparently Ron DeSantis’s presidential-campaign launch on Twitter did not go well:
Zoë Schiffer: Inside Twitter’s failed Space launch: ‘How a decimated team and shrinking server capacity rained on Ron DeSantis' parade…. The first audio livestream cut out before DeSantis could get his news out. The second one fared little better, drawing roughly 700,000 listeners at its peak. For context, Fox News claimed it drew 7.7 million viewers for Trump’s Tulsa rally in 2020. Musk attempted to put a positive spin….
Musk cut the Spaces team… [from] 100 employees, down to roughly three…. “Practically no one remaining knows the current architecture in depth,” one person lamented…
John Gruber: DeSantis Blows Up on the Launch Pad: ‘Taegan Goddard, writing at Political Wire on Ron DeSantis’s much-ballyhooed campaign launch on Twitter Spaces yesterday: “In the end, the event had all of the appeal of a glitchy conference call.” Politics aside, the event was humiliating for Elon Musk and Twitter. The space crashed on the server side several times, and it crashed the Twitter app on my iPhone at least 6 or 7 times. And even when it finally got going, the audio quality was terrible…
There is a transcript <https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/florida-governor-ron-desantis-announces-2024-presidential-run-on-twitter-spaces-with-elon-musk-transcript>, although speaker attributions are messed up. I tried to correct them:
My favorite, in a sick sense, part of it is this: where David Sacks and Elon Musk hijack the event to turn it into a commercial for BitCoin and DogeCoin.
Although “hijacking” is not the word—DeSantis appears to be all-in on BitCoin and DogeCoin, and 100% against allowing the Federal Reserve to run a competing BlockChain StableCoin asset that might siphon demand away from and lower BitCoin’s and DogeCoin’s price:
1:01:18 David Sacks: As a follow up to that, Governor, Dana mentioned operation Choke Point, and that is a term that's very familiar to crypto companies in Silicon Valley and FinTech companies. Basically, it refers to an effort by the federal government, including the SEC, to basically regulate blockchain and crypto companies out of existence. They really feel like they're being driven out of the country. I'm not talking about scammy ones or the totally fake ones like FTX, but really high quality, good companies, including companies that are public like Coinbase. These guys are basically begging the government for just a framework. They're just like, "Tell us how to operate legally and we'll do it." I guess, where do you come down on this? What is your view, I guess broadly, of Bitcoin and people's right to hold Bitcoin and to transact Bitcoin and Dogecoin?
1:02:12 Ron Desantis: You have every right to do Bitcoin. The only reason these people in Washington don't like it is because they don't control it. They're central planners and they want to have control it. They’re central planners and they want to have control over society. Bitcoin represents a threat to them, and so as you’re saying, they’re trying to regulate it out of existence. Could Congress enact a statute to ban things like Bitcoin under the Constitution? They may be able to do it. I would oppose that. I think people should be able to do Bitcoin. But Congress has never addressed this in this fashion. For the bureaucracy to just do it on their own and make it so people can’t operate in that space, that’s what we mean when we say we’ve got to return the government to the people’s elected representatives who are our voice to be able to make these decisions. As President, we’ll protect the ability to do things like Bitcoin. I think these are people that are sophisticated; they can make decisions. There’s risks involved with it, but let them do that. I just do not have an itch to have to control everything that people may be doing in this space. I think that the current regime, clearly, they have it out for Bitcoin, and if it continues for another four years, yeah, they’ll probably end up killing it.
1:03:31 David Sacks: Yeah, I think you're right. I think that is the strong feeling of people in Silicon Valley who are in this space and I think will be heartened to hear your answer on that. The weird thing is that.... And there is a huge constituency of crypto Twitter. For people who are maybe part of political Twitter who are wondering why we're talking about this, it really has a big audience for this topic.
1:03:52 Elon Musk: DogeCoin too. I just why I've said this a big deal.
1:03:56: David Sacks: Yeah. BitCoin and DogeCoin. So shout out to all the Doge fans out there. But the weird thing is that this administration, they seem to want to ban Bitcoin, but they want to create a CBDC, which stands for a Central Bank Digital Currency. What's your take on that?
1:04:17 Ron DeSantis : We were the first state. Just last month, we actually got the Florida legislature to pass a law that says Florida does not recognize Central Bank Digital Currency, because some states were actually adding that to their uniform commercial code. You know the federal government is studying this. We did the opposite and say we did. The reason why we did that is because what the Federal Reserve has said is, “Well, we're going to consult with Congress, we'll consult with the executive branch. We don’t have a CBDC right now. And ideally we would get authorization for Congress.” Well, wait a minute. It's not, ideally. You must get authorization from Congress. I don't think Congress would authorize it. If they unilaterally try to do this, we're trying to provide protection for people here in Florida. I know Biden did the executive order. They're studying it. I can tell you, if I'm President, we are not doing a Central Bank Digital Currency. I think that that would be a huge, huge imposition on people's financial freedoms and financial privacy. By the way, what would the logical result of this be? If the central authority has oversight over this, of course they're going to start imposing ESG criteria. “Oh, wait a minute, you filled up your gas tank three times this week. You can't do anymore.” The sky [inaudible 01:05:33] of how they would be able to manipulate this. I see it as a massive transfer of power from individual consumers to a central authority, and I don't think that that's good for a free society. I'm a no on Central Bank Digital Currency…
I very much want to be a believer in Web3: in a decentralized, public, right, only database to serve as one of the underlying infrastructure blocks for purposes of guaranteeing identity and providing correct attribution. And I do think that guarding identity and attribution are going to become increasingly important. But I see no reason why current holders of BitCoin (or DogeCoin!) should expect that the assets they hold will have any role in that future system. And I strongly think that the sooner the grift dies, the better.
And now here we have Ron DeSantis offering up his uninformed supporters as cattle for the pump and dump scheme that is being run this crypto winter. Really not a good look at all.