US Dollar Backed by Bitcoin? No Taxes? RFK Jr.'s Plans...

Today we’re covering:

  • RFK announces plans to back the US dollar with Bitcoin,

  • RFK Jr.’s plan to end taxes on Bitcoin,

  • Federal Reserve releases instant payments system called Fednow,

  • And everything else you need to know.


First time reading? I’m Jordan, and this is the Bitcoin Minimalist. Every day, our team scours dozens of sources to bring you need-to-know Bitcoin news and insights—all in 5 minutes. Were you forwarded this email? Sign up here.

RFK Jr. Announces Plan to Back Dollar with Bitcoin, End Capital Gains Taxes on Bitcoin

The scoop: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has announced a plan to back the US dollar with Bitcoin and end Bitcoin capital gains taxes. He is the nephew of former president John F. Kennedy and is a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2024 presidential election.

In his words:My plan would be to start very, very small, perhaps 1% of issued T-bills would be backed by hard currency, by gold, silver platinum or bitcoin.

Start small: RFK stated that 1% would be his initial allocation, but it’s something he would plan to increase over time.

RFK and Bitcoin: Although many Democrats are anti-Bitcoin, RFK Jr. seems to be taking a more free-market approach that has been pro-Bitcoin. He was a speaker at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami, and appears to be very interested in helping Bitcoin succeed.


🙌 1-yr HODL wave hits all-time high. The amount of Bitcoins that have not been moved on the network in more than 1-year has hit an all-time high at 69.1%.

This means only 30.9% of Bitcoin available on the market has been moved within the last year. A large amount being HODLed indicates strong conviction from Bitcoin holders, despite the lower prices of 2022. Periods of high holding like this have historically preceded Bitcoin’s largest price runs.

📈 Bitcoin Magazine explores what might happen to mining if the BlackRock ETF is approved. The approval of a Bitcoin ETF by major institutional investors, such as BlackRock, would likely boost mainstream adoption of Bitcoin as an investment asset. This increased demand could lead to significant funds flowing into the Bitcoin mining industry during price surges, benefiting serious players and encouraging more investment in blockchain infrastructure to support and secure the network.

📉 ETH continues to fall in price when compared to Bitcoin. Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Since a high of 0.0792 BTC per ETH in November 2022, ETH has taken a slow fall and now sits at just 0.0635 BTC per ETH.

Many are surprised to see Ethereum continue to fall after its switch to proof-of-stake (PoS) in September 2022. Most Bitcoiners consider proof-of-stake as a large security risk and did not see significance the Ethereum PoS upgrade. The price has so far indicated that the market agrees.

📅 Bitcoin yearly candles shows clear pattern. Bitcoin’s halving occurs every 4 years, and many claim this is leading to a clear pattern on the Bitcoin yearly candle chart.

As you can see, there are only 3 years where Bitcoin has gone down since its creation in 2009. Those years are 2014, 2018, and 2022, which is every 4 years. Each of those years also fall out around two years after a Bitcoin halving.

Why is this happening? The halving tends to create a large price increases in the following year. This then leads to a major drawdown in the Bitcoin price, which is usually around two years after the halving. So far, 2023 is on track to follow the other years that followed drawdowns, as Bitcoin is up around 81% since the start of 2023.


Fed Launches Instant Payment System Called FedNow®

In short: The Federal Reserve has launched the FedNow® Service, a new instant payment system available to banks and credit unions of all sizes. This service enables instant money transfers for customers, improving convenience and access to funds. Early-adopting banks, credit unions, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service are already using the system, with additional service providers supporting payment processing.

Fed Claims not a CBDC: According to the Federal Reserve’s website: “No. The FedNow Service is not related to a digital currency. The FedNow Service is a payment service the Federal Reserve is making available for banks and credit unions to transfer funds for their customers. It is like other Federal Reserve payment services, such as Fedwire and FedACH. The FedNow Service is neither a form of currency nor a step toward eliminating any form of payment, including cash.”

The facts: 

  • To start, 35 early-adopting banks and credit unions, as well as the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service, are ready with instant payments capabilities via the FedNow Service.

  • In addition, 16 service providers are ready to support payment processing for banks and credit unions.

  • The Federal Reserve is committed to working with the more than 9,000 banks and credit unions across the country to support the widespread availability of this service for their customers over time.

Powell’s Statement: "The Federal Reserve built the FedNow Service to help make everyday payments over the coming years faster and more convenient," said Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell. "Over time, as more banks choose to use this new tool, the benefits to individuals and businesses will include enabling a person to immediately receive a paycheck, or a company to instantly access funds when an invoice is paid."


Is RFK genuine in his support for Bitcoin, or just using Bitcoin to get publicity?

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⚡ Binance announced that it now supports Lightning Network deposits and withdrawals. As one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, Binance’s support for lightning should lead to increased usage of the payment network.

🚫 Kuwait has banned the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for investment, payments and mining. The oil-rich country claims that these measures are in place to comply with the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) global recommendations for crypto assets.

👨‍💻 Bitcoin Optech newsletter #260 has been published. While more of a technical publication, it’s a useful read for anyone interested in learning more about the latest technical developments in Bitcoin.

Today’s newsletter was written by Jordan and edited by Colin.