Former presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul has been more outspoken about government oversight concerning Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the last week, calling on people to “be vigilant.”
In an episode of the Stephan Livera podcast released on Sunday, Paul said he was just as worried about authorities coming to “confiscate” his gold as he was about the confiscation of crypto assets. The libertarian noted that there had been instances of people “taking crypto that they shouldn’t,” but seemingly placed the blame for any potential fraud in the future on the government.
“The more successful crypto is going to be and Bitcoin is going to be, I think the more you have to be aware of what's going on in the government will become more aggressive,” said Paul. “I see [crypto] as not a creature of the government, but the government’s watching very closely.”
The former congressman from Texas — an outspoken critic of the Federal Reserve — is known for his advocacy of gold, though he holds at least some Bitcoin (BTC). Bitcoin Foundation board member Bobby Lee gifted Paul with his first BTC last October when the price was $9,380.
Since leaving the United States Congress in 2013, Paul has often spoken in favor of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
“When I was in congress, I thought the important thing is that we should do whatever we can to make [Bitcoin] legal,” said Paul. “I had a bill that would be legalizing competing currencies, because if it’s to be used as money — you’re competing with the dollar, and there are some people who don’t like that.”
Paul has additionally expressed concern that crypto is still vulnerable to government crackdowns. In an episode of the Ron Paul Liberty Report released last Tuesday, the libertarian cited how President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order in 1933 limiting gold ownership in the United States in response to citizens hoarding the precious metal.
“People say, ‘Well, we can get around this with crypto... crypto will be outside this… it’s not in the banking system, and you won’t have that problem,’” Paul recited. “I think that’s where there’s still some proving has to go on.”
He concluded that:
“If the government can come in and do whatever they want and steal the gold from the people, I don’t think that the government will be neutral [for crypto]. As time goes on, since our government’s goal is to have a cashless society. And they want to know what’s going on.”