NFT and Crypto Are America’s Hottest Political Campaign Trend

Before this year’s midterm elections in 2016, Congressional candidates are starting to embrace the crypto boom. They’re auctioning digital collectibles called NFTs, which have already attracted hundreds of thousands of donations.

After the technology has exploded in popularity to become a $40 Billion market over the past year, political campaigns have sold non-fungible tokens. The NFTs allow creators to sell online unique digital assets that are not easily duplicated.

These NFT platforms are poised to become big business in politics. Consultants have launched NFT platforms to help their clients capitalize on the boom and connect with voters. Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters raised $550,000 last month when he sold digital tokens that depicted the cover of a book he co-authored with tech investor Peter Thiel.

“We’ve seen how a lot of my political supporters are actually first-time donors, people who haven’t necessarily voted Republican their whole lives, but who want younger, more competent, more technologically literate leadership. That overlaps quite a bit with people who are into crypto in one way or another,” Masters stated in an email interview. 

Shrina Kurani is a tech executive who is trying to flip a Republican House District in California and she successfully raised $6,600 in just 72 hours last year through the sale of 21 NFTs containing her crypto-policy agenda.

“If you use NFTs for donor or volunteer recognition, it’s a much more impactful way to recognize supporters than a tote bag or a T-shirt,” said Tomicah Tillemann, venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto investing arm global head of policy.

Campaigns are using digital swag to attract donors. This is just one example of cryptomania spreading into politics. There are a growing number of candidates from both sides of the aisle promoting pro-crypto platforms in their bid to overthrow incumbents. NFTs, like the wider digital currency explosion, are starting to raise a host policy and legal concerns. They can be used in money laundering and how candidates can avoid being in violation of investor protection and campaign finance rules.

NFTs are unique digital tokens that can be used to represent images, videos and virtual real estate on a decentralized blockchain ledger, and have been around for less than a decade. They have experienced a boom in popularity during the pandemic. In early 2021, the NFTs of the work of the well-known artist Beeple sold an NFT for $69M. According to Chainalysis, the sales volume had increased to over $40 billion by the end of the last year.

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