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Andrew Yang, a potential presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, is setting foot into the 21st century’s modern world of crypto and blockchain technology.
Yang’s Political Action Committee (PAC), which is called Humanity Forward Fund (Humanity FWD), is now allowing donations in Bitcoin(BTC)trade for 21 days, from July 25 to August 14. This is fundamentally done to support his Democratic Party in the run for presidency in 2020.
Yang is a long-time advocate of cryptocurrency and has previously released several pro-crypto statements. “I think the technology has massive potential to create a more transparent society. A smart government would embrace this and work with it,” Yang already said in July 2018.
Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is “Layer 2” payment protocol that operates on top of a cryptocurrency. It allows faster transactions between participants and provides a solution to the Bitcoin scalability problem.
The PAC introduced the first of its kind fundraising program that is driven by Bitcoin, on the 25th of July. It is called “21 Days of Bitcoin for the 21st Century” and it will continue accepting funds till Aug 14th. Humanity FWD collaborated with the BTC payment processor OpenNode, and will be carrying out the process via its crypto wallets.
Rather than making use of credit cards for the donations which would have accounted for a major transactional fee of up to 4%, OpenNode would only charge 1%. Afnan Rehman the CEO of OpenNode commented that enabling Bitcoin donations “allows the donors to almost have the entire amount go toward the actual donation rather than miner fees.”
Monitoring the Bitcoin Price
It is yet unclear on how the funds will be managed by the program due to Bitcoin’s price volatility. Seth Cohen, founder of the program said that it is essential that Yang’s campaign keeps track of Bitcoin’s price at each donation. According to him, “Potentially earning or losing money creates additional regulatory requirements.”
There have been similar efforts in the past to make use of crypto in political campaigns. According to some reports, during the 2017-18 election there were up to 570,000 dollars that accounted for all the political crypto donations cited by the Canter of Public Integrity. During this time period, they even went as far as banning direct crypto donations in states like California and South Carolina as concerns were raised on the funds’ transparency.
The 2020 election will be the first to be driven by a PAC that is operated by crypto based funds in support of a particular candidate. Yang even went on to say that he would “promote legislation that provides clarity” to the crypto industry. Cohen predicts that they will raise enough funds to have a significant impact on the election.