An American legislator finances his campaign with… NFTs!

Decentralized policy! – A political campaign is expensive. The LR candidate Valérie Pécresse, “lost in the metaverse”, paid the price for her French presidential campaign in 2022. Indeed, having not reached the 5% necessary for the reimbursement of her campaign, she recently launched an appeal to donations. Matt West, an aspiring lawmaker in Oregon’s sixth congressional district, found an unconventional but oh so effective alternative ! The former decentralized finance (DeFi) developer has planned to sell a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFT) based on Ethereum to raise funds for his campaign.

Father Beaver, fund us a campaign

Matt West’s NFT collection features beavers (Oregon’s state animal) from cartoons. All NFTs are the work of movie poster artist Paul Zeaiter. Their prices vary according to their level of rarity. The Democrat said levels the most expensive reach almost $5,800.

It is not yet clear if they will make a difference in the battle for Oregon’s new congressional district. Nine Democrats are currently vying for the spot in what has become a surprisingly expensive primary race. One candidate estimated that campaigns and political action committees (PACs) would have spent $15 million on primary day, May 17.

The West’s NFTs are based on Ethereum, so they will be available for purchase in ether (ETH). It’s all in keeping with West’s true-to-her-roots personality. The Democrat was indeed a developer on the Ethereum-based DeFi protocol, Yearn Finance.

“We fought hard to make sure it was something that would resonate with the community”

Matt West, Democratic candidate from Oregon 6.

NFTs and cryptocurrencies are taking over politics in the USA.

Oregon’s Democratic Primary 6 consists of a cosmopolitan community. This new slightly blue district in the northwest of the state is not particularly interested in NFTs. By West’s admission, it is full of voters who don’t really care about crypto politics. On the other hand, major issues such as climate change loom large. The Ethereum blockchain is energy-intensive. However, Matt West doesn’t think that could be a liability for his campaign.

“Ethereum is going to be Proof of Stake (PoS) very soon which will divide the energy consumption by 2,000”.

Matt West, Democratic candidate from Oregon 6.

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Cryptocurrencies and NFTs at the center of the debate

Many American political candidates have tried the fundraising through NFTs during this election cycle. The goal ? Capitalize on the hype around these digital collectibles.

“There are a few who have succeeded, but generally they are not treated with respect. They are not necessarily negotiable. They are not redeemable for cash. You pay them by credit card and on an alternative blockchain. »

Matt West, Democratic candidate from Oregon 6.

The NFTs underscore West’s commitment to a “progressive” crypto policy. In any case, said Zeaiter, the artist of the project, soon to be the beneficiary of their royalties on the secondary market.

“The regulations are coming, and I would rather have someone like Matt who knows his stuff”

Paul Zeaiter, film poster designer and collection artist

NFTs and cryptocurrencies are at the center of debates in the United States.

The presence of cryptocurrencies is felt in the race for Oregon 6 with or without West NFTs. Another major candidate, Oregon State House Rep. Andrea Salinas, has already voted for ban blockchain apps of all public services. Another candidate, Cody Reynolds, is a crypto investor and thus runs a self-funded campaign.

Carrick Flynn, meanwhile, has no known opinion on crypto. However, his candidacy benefits from almost $5 million backing from crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. As a result, he is the most criticized of all the candidates. Some even consider him the “crypto minion”.

Matt West and four other contestants blasted that Flynn benefits from FTX CEO SBF’s money. All this occurs, according to them, “at a time when the cryptocurrency industry seeks to increase its influence in Washington”. In effect, lobbying did not start yesterday!

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An American legislator finances his campaign with… NFTs!


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