(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk and Donald Trump are discussing cryptocurrency policy as the former president increasingly highlights Bitcoin and other digital assets on the campaign trail as a way to reach new voters, according to a person familiar with the talks.

Trump campaign officials have also talked about the possibility of inviting Musk to speak at the Republican convention, according to a person with knowledge of those discussions, but are still far from making a final decision. The person familiar, who spoke on condition of anonymity to detail the talks, did not know if anyone had yet broached the subject with Musk himself.

The moves are the latest demonstration of how Musk, a Washington player in his own right, who has weighed in on elections and whose companies boast federal contracts and have bristled at government regulations, is wielding his significant political influence.

Trump and Musk are talking about ways for the tech entrepreneur to take on a broad advisory role if Trump wins a second term in November, though the exact format of that arrangement is still under discussion, a person familiar said. The Wall Street Journal first reported those talks. 

Musk has also discussed electric vehicles and the space program with Trump allies, issues directly related to two companies where serves as chief executive officer: Tesla Inc. and SpaceX.

Musk, in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, said “pretty sure I’ve never discussed crypto with Trump, although I am generally in favor of things that shift power from government to the people, which crypto can do.”

“President Trump will be the only voice of what role an individual plays in his presidency,” Trump spokesman Brian Hughes said in a statement. “Many of the nation’s most important leaders in technology and innovation are concerned with the damage done to their industry by Biden’s failures.”

The communication between the billionaires has become more frequent in recent months as the campaign ramps up their reliance on Musk for insight about cryptocurrency. In March, Musk attended a donor event for Trump, but suggested after the event that he had no plans to donate to either Trump or President Joe Biden.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, a Trump ally who is also close with Musk, has helped broker the discussions between the men, according to two people familiar. Musk has some reservations about Trump but realized during the Republican primaries that the former president’s nomination was inevitable, one person said.

Musk told Ramaswamy, who challenged Trump in the Republican primary, that he had considered endorsing him and donating to his upstart campaign, but ultimately did not because he didn’t see a pathway for any candidate to beat Trump, the person said.

A representative for Ramaswamy declined to comment.

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Crypto Influence

Musk has influenced the prices of so-called memecoins via posts on social media, his appearance in a Saturday Night Live segment about crypto, and a short-lived move in April 2023 that saw the home button on X replaced by an image of a Shiba Inu, the dog breed associated with the Dogecoin token. 

Other industry advocates, many of whom have ties to the tech billionaire, are also seeking Trump’s attention as his campaign develops its messaging around crypto.

Trump’s made several recent pro-crypto overtures to voters, including a social media post last week, in which he said he is “VERY POSITIVE AND OPEN MINDED TO CRYPTOCURRENCY COMPANIES.” He pledged at a Libertarian Party convention to commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht, the convicted founder of the Silk Road online marketplace where customers used virtual currencies to buy illegal drugs and hacker tools. His campaign is also now accepting crypto donations.

Trump’s recent pivot to being vocally pro-crypto also has the potential to help his campaign pull in support from several industry political action committees, which are raising millions of dollars to elect candidates who support digital currencies.

Shared History

Musk and Trump have a rocky history. Musk resigned from two White House advisory councils while Trump was in office over the then-president’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement. But in 2022, Musk said he would no longer vote for Democrats, calling them the party of “division and hate” and would instead “vote Republican.”

The two have a great deal in common, including a penchant for being outspoken on social media. Musk has embraced many Trump tenets, criticizing illegal immigration and claiming Biden is trying to bring new voters into the country as well as questioning the integrity of US elections.

The Biden campaign seized on reports of Trump and Musk discussing an advisory role and the Republican’s efforts to court deep-pocketed donors.

“Trump is selling out America to pay his legal bills and put himself in power, while all billionaires like Elon see is a sucker: They know if they cut him campaign checks, he’ll cut their taxes while he cuts Social Security and other benefits for the middle class,” campaign spokesperson James Singer said in a statement Thursday.

Musk is the world’s third richest man but has not been a major political donor, especially considering the size of his fortune, estimated at $202 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Musk has donated less than $1 million since 2009 — and nothing this cycle — to political candidates, Federal Election Commission records show. 

Musk also said he would support Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who challenged Trump in the Republican primary. His campaign anticipated receiving a check from Musk, which never ultimately arrived. 

Musk is well-liked by Trump campaign officials and other senior advisers in the former president’s orbit, according to a person familiar with the dynamics. Trump’s allies are particularly impressed by Musk’s takeover of X, which saw him slash content moderation in a bid to promote free speech.

--With assistance from Max Chafkin and Dana Hull.

(Adds Musk post in the sixth paragraph)

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