US Congressional Candidates Sell NFTs To Finance Campaigns

Celebrities and athletes aren’t the only ones aping into the NFT game. Digital assets are now part of political strategy.

Two US congressional candidates have taken to selling NFTs to raise funds for their midterm election campaigns. The campaigners using this strategy cross party lines, though positive attitudes towards crypto among current congresspeople do not.

Selling NFTs Like MAGA Hats

As reported by Bloomberg, the strategy is currently being used by California Democrat Shrina Kurani, and Arizona Republican Blake Masters.

In an interview, Kurani called NFTs her “campaign merchandise,” which she is selling through the online marketplace “SolSea”. She believes they can help her raise funds from the youth demographic, which generally shows greater interest in and risk appetite for crypto.

“When I talked about wanting to launch a NFT for my campaign, I got blank stares,” she said in a tweet. “Most folks in the political world had no idea what I was talking about or only knew crypto as something criminals were involved with.”

Kurani likened the tokens to MAGA hats, which Trump used to raise millions of dollars from his base campaigning. Unfortunately for her campaign, the effort barely generated $6000 in revenue. They ultimately sold less than 12 tokens by the campaign’s expiry at the end of the month.

Conversely, Masters’s efforts were far more fruitful. In late December, he raised almost $575 000 selling NFTs of cover art for a book about startup companies. He wrote this book in partnership with top Trump ally Peter Thiel. Despite Trump’s aversion to digital assets, Thiel is highly interested in crypto and even accurately predicted the technology decades ago.

Altcoin-Backing Senate Candidate Blake Masters Earns $1 Million Working With Peter Thiel
Blake Masters (Left) / Peter Thiel (Right). Source: Business Insider

That said, crypto is yet to become a popular method for campaign fundraising. Rand Paul was approved to accept Bitcoin for his presidential campaign back in 2015. However, only about a dozen campaign committees have reported receiving crypto for donations since then, according to Bloomberg data.

Crypto Partisanship

The varying success of Kurani and Masters happens to reflect attitudes toward crypto on parliament hill. Whereas Republicans are generally welcoming to it as a burgeoning industry, Democrats see it as dangerous for investors and the environment.

Generally, however, most in the political arena are unfamiliar with the technology and are unaware of how to go about regulating it. Those few who are knowledgeable have been deliberate about making conversations happen about crypto, and making informed regulatory decisions.

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For example, Cynthia Lummis – one senator that accepts campaign contributions through Bitcoin – is actively pushing legislation to clarify industry standards.

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