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Ron Paul's Revenge

• Politico

The "Ron Paul Revolution," as the Texas congressman's zealous followers called it, racked up delegates and riled the Republican establishment over the course of two disruptive, insurgent presidential primary campaigns. His crusade, which animated libertarians by demanding an end to the Federal Reserve System and a return to the gold standard, turned out a failure.

But a cadre of his revolutionaries remained undeterred, and they soon found another way to disrupt the global monetary system.

They became evangelists of a new kind of computer software that mimicked Paul's beloved gold and was inspired by the same economic theories that informed his activism. Over the past decade, Paul's acolytes — including the cofounder of the world's second-largest cryptocurrency and an aide to the Senate's top Bitcoin advocate — have gone on to win far more victories with computer code than they ever had at the ballot box.

Their objective is to pry control of money away from the state, an audacious goal that flies in the face of a century of American monetary policy.

Now, with crypto going mainstream and official inflation figures hitting 40-year highs, they say that Washington will have no choice but to contend with an economic vision that once seemed destined for obscurity.

"I thought I threw my life away, chasing the Federal Reserve. People thought I was crazy," said Nick Spanos, a former director of voter contact for Paul turned pro-Bitcoin agitator. "When I realized that Bitcoin couldn't get destroyed on Election Day, that I finally had an instrument against this, a weapon for my battle, then I threw everything I had behind Bitcoin."