There’s been a lot of talk about Rand Paul’s Internet operations, most of it good. The presidential candidate has invested in his online presence on a scale not seen since Barack Obama’s insurgent win in 2008 against Hillary Clinton. This week, his campaign announced his next acquisition: Patrick Byrne of Overstock. In and of itself, this would be a major coup since Byrne is well known for innovative tech ideas (decentralizing Overstock’s exchange being the latest), but it’s also notable for another reason: Byrne is also a well known advocate of the digital currency Bitcoin.
Personally, I’m skeptical on the subject of Bitcoin, but I’m sympathetic to the idea behind it: A growing distrust of our nation’s monetary policy which is encouraging stagnant wages and slow growth. Rand Paul has not been hesitant in the past to suggest that the Federal Reserve’s policy needs a shakeup: In addition to his well known “Audit the Fed” bill, he also sponsored a Centennial Monetary Commission that would study the Fed’s policies over the past century and recommend a path forward for the central bank (the bill is expected to be reintroduced this year). One of Rand’s recurring statements is that he’s running as a “Different Kind of Republican.” By choosing Patrick Byrne as his new Tech Council, could Rand be sending a not-so-subtle signal that a Rand Paul administration would also chart a new course on money?
Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles in Action.