2024 will see more voters globally participate in democratic elections than any other year in history. With voters in over 60 countries exercising their right to participate in politics, policies in various fields are being contested globally. Although cryptocurrencies were created with the intention of functioning independently from governments and institutions, to assume that crypto would be exempt from such a momentous year in geopolitics would be naive. 

From the prospect of a continued crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry by India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to right-wing opposition towards central bank digital currencies in the United States, there are wide-ranging implications for what the outcomes could mean for this burgeoning sector. 

In El Salvador, where crypto-evangelist Nayib Bukele was recently re-elected, local media shows that Bukele’s opponent, Joel Sanchez, was against the country’s bitcoin policy. Although Bukele was widely expected to win, if Sanchez had secured a surprise victory and moved to eliminate BTC’s legal status in El Salvador, the crypto sector could have taken a serious blow on the global stage. 

Looking at this year’s elections from a broad perspective, Noelle Acheson, an analyst and author of the “Crypto is Macro Now” newsletter, told Unchained that “many jurisdictions appear to be heading into more authoritarian territory, which is precisely when access to crypto markets becomes a more relevant tool for individuals wishing to preserve their financial independence.”

Included in the many countries holding elections this year are some of the world’s hotspots for digital asset adoption, which find themselves in the top 20 of the 2023 Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index. Here is a breakdown of what is at stake for crypto in some of those countries ranked by Chainalysis. 


The leading nation for cryptocurrency adoption according to Chainalysis, India will be holding its general elections this spring, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party is likely to win. Due to hostile policies from Modi and the BJP, an alarming amount of Indian crypto entrepreneurs, including those behind WazirX and Polygon, have relocated to other countries in what’s been called a ‘brain drain’.​​ 

Under the BJP leadership, a harsh tax policy of 30% for crypto gains was put into place, which has led those engaging in the space to seek out jurisdictions with friendlier and more definitive tax frameworks. “There’s been quite a bit of back and forth within Parliament about how is it that [the tax policies are] going to be implemented,” Ananya Kumar, Associate Director of the GeoEconomics Center at the Atlantic Council, told Unchained. “People are leaving the jurisdiction because there is a lack of clarity,” she added.

Most recently the FIU (Finance Intelligence Unit) which is headed by BJP member Nirmala Sitharaman, issued a show cause notice that stated its ambition to block several global crypto exchanges including Binance and Kraken, accusing them of “operating illegally” in the country. 

Should Modi continue his reign as Prime Minister, it is likely that those engaging in the digital asset sector, whether that be traders, investors, or developers in the South Asian nation will continue to explore opportunities in other parts of the world. For the BJP, “bringing crypto into the regulatory environment […] is a long way off” said Kumar. 

United States

Number four on Chainalysis’s Global Crypto Adoption Index, the US has seen digital assets become a talking point among presidential candidates, especially from the Republican Party. 

Despite recent approvals of spot bitcoin ETFs by the SEC, crypto companies are still seeking regulatory transparency, and there are several bills in Congress that, if passed, could provide a more cohesive framework on key issues such as stablecoins and DeFi. Along with seeing which party wins the presidency, watching the House and Senate will be crucial for what happens next to crypto in the U.S.

The Atlantic Council’s Kumar said that “in Congress, if Republicans come into power, there’s going to be some legislation that can be passed.” Many crypto bills, including proposals to ban CBDCs, have come out of the GOP. Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry’s stablecoin bill is the most far along proposal, having gone through a lengthy negotiating process with the ranking member of the the House Financial Services Committee, Democrat Maxine Waters, due to her initial opposition to the framework. 

Read more: Crypto Industry Loses Another Champion in Congress as McHenry Announces Plans to Leave

But with regards to the presidency, given the varying agencies that have the ability to regulate digital assets, “it’s a more complicated landscape, than [saying] if Trump wins things are going to be easy for the crypto industry” since the GOP has generally been more pro-crypto, said Kumar. 

Recently, former President Trump, who in the past has had negative views on bitcoin and crypto despite his lucrative NFT endeavors, recently expressed a more open-minded stance on the digital asset.

He has also followed other GOP members such as Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramasawany in condemning CBDCs in his campaign for reelection, stating the asset is a “dangerous threat to freedom.” 

Read more: Donald Trump Promises to Never Allow CBDCs if Elected President

On the Democratic side, there has been minimal mention of crypto on the campaign trail, although President Biden signed a landmark executive order regarding a national policy for crypto in 2022, which was followed up by a framework for regulating the sector, that among other things, calls for the SEC and CFTC to “aggressively pursue investigations and enforcement actions against unlawful practices in the digital assets space.” 

Meanwhile, longshot Democratic candidate Dean Philips, who has gained the support of Mike Novogratz, recently shared his opinion that blockchain innovation, if done thoughtfully, has its place in the US.

United Kingdom

Rishi Sunak, who leads the UK’s ruling Conservative Party, has brought cryptocurrency to the forefront of political discourse in the country which is now ranked in the top 15 for adoption. After a 2022 policy announcement championed by Sunak detailed ambitions to bring digital assets into the regulatory purview, in 2023 the Finance Services Markets Act became law, which included adding stablecoins under the country’s payment regulations. 

The Labour Party, which is currently leading in recent polling, historically has been “less pro crypto” according to Kumar. However, a financial agenda report published by the Labour Party earlier this year included “embracing securities tokenisation and a central bank digital currency.”

Certain regulations in the UK for digital assets that have come out of independent bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), are unlikely to be impacted by the election, as they are “removed from the political process,” said Kumar.


Ranked at number 33 globally on the Chainalysis Index, Taiwan currently has less formal regulation for the sector than similar jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Singapore, but is working to establish a new framework as the industry continues to grow. 

The country’s mid-January election was closely watched by the international community due to increasing tensions with China and the differing party views on this issue, with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) advocating for Taiwan’s sovereignty and the Kuomintang (KMT) being friendlier with China. Lai Ching-te of the DPP was elected the new president, and “a number of DPP legislators have spoken in favor of progressive legislation for crypto,” Alex Liu, CEO of Taiwanese crypto exchange MaiCoin, wrote to Unchained. 

Although the DPP won the Presidency, the party lost its majority in the Legislative Yuan (the Taiwanese equivalent of a parliament) to the KMT, which forayed into the NFT space in 2022

Last year, a digital asset bill aimed at regulating cryptocurrency exchanges and their offerings was presented in the Legislative Yuan under the DDP, but which could now be impacted by the KMT majority. 

“The DPP will need to work with KMT and TPP legislators on advancing the crypto bill,” Liu wrote (the TPP is the center-left Taiwan People’s Party). Although getting the DPP and KMT to collectively agree on the regulations may be challenging at first given their divide on polarizing matters like China, “it will ultimately result in legislation that has a broader base of support, and thus longevity,” wrote Liu.