As crypto and Bitcoin has continued to permeate throughout the consciousness of the mainstream, more politicians are seeing this new, emerging constituency as a possible source of increased campaign contributions. Some may view the combination of crypto with campaign financing as a potential source of dark money and corruption. However, the reality is these sorts of donations are published on a completely public ledger in a rather non-private manner.
In fact, some believe crypto could enable greater levels of transparency. Especially when it comes to campaign donations and even government spending. In the United States, candidates from both sides of the political aisle have turned to Bitcoin and crypto communities for financial assistance. While Republicans seem friendlier to the crypto industry for now, it’s clear that Democrats would be willing to change their tune if this new financial technology continues to see tremendous growth in overall popularity. With all of this in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the forward-thinking candidates. Ones who have already accepted campaign contributions via Bitcoin and other crypto assets.
Since most of the political discussion in the U.S. concentrates around Republicans and Democrats, let’s do something different and start with someone who currently belongs to neither of the two major parties. Andrew Yang ran for U.S. President and New York City Mayor as a member of the Democratic Party, but he’s currently in the process of creating something entirely different with the Forward Party. Mostly known for his support for Universal Basic Income, Yang has talked about how crypto could offer a unique path forward in terms of turning this theoretical policy into a reality. Yang accepted Bitcoin and ether-denominated contributions during his presidential run back in 2016, and the Forward Party currently accepts crypto-based donations through an integration with Bitpay. Much like Bitcoin itself, Yang is unique in his ability to garner support. This is support from all quadrants of the traditional political compass.
Cynthia Lummis is the most hardcore supporter of Bitcoin in Congress. In fact, she’s a participant in the space and she can likely fit in the subcategory of crypto enthusiasts known as Bitcoin maximalists. These are members of the crypto community who do not see much value or utility of blockchain technology outside of its use in Bitcoin, and they’re especially skeptical of altcoins or projects that have their own utility tokens attached to them. While many politicians who accept crypto-based campaign contributions mostly talk generically about the value proposition of blockchain technology, Lummis gets rather specific with her words and mostly talks about bitcoin from an economic perspective.
Aarika Rhodes and Bitcoin
Although Aarika Rhodes eventually lost her race against incumbent Brad Sherman in a Democratic congressional primary race, her campaign is worth highlighting due to her opponent. Sherman has espoused his belief that Bitcoin and other crypto assets should get a ban in the U.S. on numerous occasions. He’s also received plenty of criticism for this point of view. This is due to the campaign contributions he has received from various institutions in the world of traditional finance. Early on in her campaign, Rhodes, an elementary school teacher, made her support for Bitcoin and crypto more generally one of her key talking points. After her campaign accepted crypto contributions, it reached a new level of success. This is due to the outpouring of support from the crypto community.
Warren Davidson, a Republican congressman from Ohio, is somewhat infamous in the crypto space. This is due to his use of the word “shitcoin” during a congressional committee hearing back in 2019. Davidson sees it as a vehicle for increasing the level of financial freedom throughout the world. He has discussed the differences between the U.S. dollar and Bitcoin. This is from a sound money perspective. He sees the current inflationary environment as a key driver of crypto adoption. Notably, Davidson replaced former House Speaker John Boehner when he first joined Congress in 2016.
Rand Paul and Bitcoin
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul holds a special place in the heart of many Bitcoin enthusiasts. This is because he is the son of former Congressman and Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul. Indeed, many of the earliest bitcoin adopters were supporters of Ron Paul and held libertarian-leaning political beliefs. Additionally, people see Bitcoin as a continuation of the movement to return the U.S. to a gold standard. Rand Paul is not Ron Paul, and there are key differences between these two individuals’ political positions. Then again, Rand Paul became the first presidential candidate to accept campaign contributions via Bitcoin during the 2016 election
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