(Bloomberg) -- Several Bitcoin miners met with former president Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night, according to Matthew Schultz, executive chairman at crypto mining company CleanSpark Inc.

Trump told attendees that he loves and understands cryptocurrency, adding that Bitcoin miners help to stabilize energy supply from the grid, according to Schultz. Trump said he’d be an advocate for miners in the White House, Schultz added.

In a post on his Truth Social account, Trump said Bitcoin mining may be “our last line of defense against a CBDC,” referring to a central bank digital currency, adding that he wants all remaining Bitcoin to be “MADE IN THE USA!!!”

The former president has increasingly highlighted Bitcoin and other digital assets on the campaign trail in recent weeks as a way to reach new voters. He has taken advice on the subject from Elon Musk and pledged at a recent Libertarian Party convention to commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht, the convicted founder of the Silk Road online marketplace. His campaign is also now accepting crypto donations.

Jason Les, chief executive officer and director of Riot Platforms Inc., also met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, according to a post on X. 

Emissions, Grid

The meeting comes as crypto miners reel from a backlash over a range of issues including climate change and their impact on local power grids. Democrats have been leading efforts to ramp up scrutiny of Bitcoin miners’ energy consumption and carbon emissions, while Texas Senator Ted Cruz has been a high-profile backer of the industry.

“Crypto innovators and others in the technology sector are under attack from Biden and Democrats,” said Brian Hughes, a senior advisor to Trump’s campaign. “While Biden stifles innovation with more regulation and higher taxes, President Trump is ready to encourage American leadership in this and other emerging technologies.”

The crypto sector, meanwhile, is striving to bolster candidates seen as favorable to digital assets, including through ever-greater donations to the Fairshake political action committee.

The US has supplanted China as the epicenter of Bitcoin mining since 2021, when Beijing enforced an industry ban. The energy-intensive process involves using power-hungry computers to validate encrypted transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain, with rewards earned in the form of tokens.

(Updates with comment from Trump campaign in seventh paragraph)

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