Category Archives: Bill Clinton

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Bill Clinton Waxes Lyrical on Crypto

Ex-US President Bill Clinton, speaking at Ripple’s annual Swell conference in San Francisco, has praised the rise of blockchain technology.

From appearing as a moderator on a panel of world leaders at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum to keynote speaker at a cryptocurrency and blockchain conference, the ex-US president appears to be everywhere at the moment.

It has not escaped crypto pundits’ attention that Ripple is not shy when it comes to attracting big names with little knowledge of crypto to promote its causes. Actor and investor Ashton Kutcher has already donated USD 4 million worth of XRP to the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund on live TV and Snoop Dogg made his appearance at the Consensus NY event early this year, again sponsored by Ripple.

As a politician and leader he was known for his drafting of policy for emerging technologies, so given this, it probably should come as no surprise. His technological swansong was the signing of the historic Telecommunications Act of 1996 which really pre-empted the age of the internet. Given these proven attributes in the field of new technologies, Ripple reputedly paid him up to USD 500,000 for his keynote address, according to media reports.

The topics of the event including foreign policy, blockchain, cryptocurrency and banking. Clinton praised emerging technologies such as blockchain in his address and commented the future for DLT had huge implications for the disruption of the global status quo. In a discussion with his formal economics adviser Gene Sperling, he commented:

“This whole blockchain deal has the potential it does only because it is applicable across national borders [and] income groups. The permutations and possibilities are staggeringly great… We could ruin it all by negative identity politics and economic and social policy. You think about that.”

Clinton, a Bitcoin holder since 2016, after receiving a gift from venture capitalist and tech entrepreneur Matthew Roszak, said that economic and social policy “work better as sum games”.

 

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Ripple Books Bill Clinton for Keynote Speech at Fall Conference

Global payment blockchain solution Ripple has managed to secure former US President Bill Clinton as a speaker for its autumn technology conference, Swell.

Clinton is set to deliver a keynote speech followed by a Q&A at the San Francisco event on 1 October, as outlined in a blog post from Ripple on Tuesday. The post commends Clinton on his handling of the internet phenomenon during his time in office, as well his endeavors to make technology accessible for underprivileged communities internationally.

Comparing the current period of technological advancements with that of the 1990s ushered by Clinton, Ripple cites his credentials as valuable for interpreting the climate of today which requires a similar ability to balance risk prevention without stifling innovation.

Clinton received a physical Bitcoin from entrepreneur Matt Roszak back in 2016, although his wife Hillary Clinton refused to accept campaign donations made with Bitcoin during her two presidential runs.

Swell will be moderated by Gene Sperling who served as the National Economic Council Director and Adviser for Clinton as well as former President Barack Obama.

Crypto and politics coming to head

As politicians globally have begun demanding some form of regulatory control over the cryptocurrency industry, politics has drawn much closer to the field over the year. While in the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission is tightening its stance on ICOs and has even employed its first ‘crypto czar‘, companies themselves serving the industry are becoming more politically active.

Recent documents show Coinbase as the first of its kind to form its own political action committee (PAC), which would allow the exchange to donate to candidates in the US running for public office that accept crypto donations. As of yet, the PAC has listed no affiliations or lodged any donations, nor did it wish to respond to press requests for comment.

It will be interesting to see in the future if the industry may develop political power via these crypto-friendly PACs.

 

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