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NFTs Gaining Popularity as Fundraising Method in Election Campaigns

The next phase of crypto adoption amongst politicians sees NFTs auctioned off to raise money for campaigns.

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American politicians are using NFTs and crypto in increasing measures. Republican Blake Masters, who is running for Arizona Senator, is offering NFTs to campaign donors. He had raised almost $575,000 by the latter part of Dec. 2021 by offering donors NFTs of artwork for a book on startups that Masters co-authored.

Shrini Kurani, who’s running for a House seat in California, says, “NFTs are our campaign merchandise.” She offered NFTs in 2021 to try to win the support of younger voters but only raised about $6000.

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Representative Tom Emmer, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in June 2021 that “[crypto] will help provide the Republicans the resources we need to succeed.”

Senator Cynthia Lummis, known for her pro-crypto stance, has also weighed in on the matter. “Financial innovation is a good thing,” she opines. ”Digital assets are secure and easy to use….” She went on to say, ”…I hope my fellow senators will join me in championing financial innovation.” Lummis said in late 2021 that she wants Wyoming to set a precedent for cryptocurrencies. Senator Pat Toomey is also a known bitcoin proponent and has assisted the Biden administration in narrowing the definition of the term “broker” in the context of the recently released bipartisan tax bill.

Bitcoin’s privacy and donor legislation

The Federal Election Commission first gave the green light to cryptocurrency donations almost eight years ago. Twelve campaign committees have thus far received $1M in crypto donations, a far cry from the tens of billions of dollars raised by many other campaign committees. Democrats on the commission said in 2014 that bitcoin donations should be limited to $100, considering donor-disclosure laws’ incompatibility with bitcoin’s inherent privacy. Republicans gave the advisory opinion a thumbs-down, causing crypto donations to be allowed without a limit. This meant that crypto needed to abide by disclosure requirements and limitations of regular contributions.

NFTs are reaching into Asian politics

A South Korean 2022 presidential candidate recently announced that he would be issuing NFTs as recipients to donors to his campaign. The campaign will accept bitcoin, ether, and one of three other cryptocurrencies under review. He also has pegged his hopes on using crypto to win over younger voters. Representative Lee Kwang-Jae from the campaign committee said concerning the compliance surrounding such donations, “The donations will be managed in compliance with the Public Official Election Act and the Guidelines on Management of Political Funds.”

A Florida gubernatorial candidate, Nikki Fried, announced that her campaign would be accepting crypto donations via the Florida Consumers First Committee.

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