Becoming a Candidate
In some ways, Andrew Yang may seem like the natural candidate of choice for tech enthusiasts. He founded Venture for America, a nonprofit that encourages young professionals to work at startups, in 2011. Before that, he worked at startups and early-stage companies himself, including StartGiving.com, which encouraged philanthropy through celebrity affiliation.
One of his signature legislative ideas is the introduction of a universal basic income — a flat fee of $12,000 paid to every American between the ages of 18 and 64 to combat the rise of automation in the workplace. This idea in particular seems to align with some of the economic equality philosophies held by fans of decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
But whatever the specific reasons, something about Yang has certainly captured the attention of Crypto Twitter, the hivemind of blockchain and cryptocurrency influencers who retweet and comment on Yang’s political messages.
Lining the Crypto Coffers
Yang’s most significant real-world endorsement of cryptocurrency to date has come in the form of his campaign’s fundraising. Yang 2020 is open to cryptocurrency donations (not exactly a first, but still a novelty in mainstream American politics), including bitcoin, ether and any other ERC20 token.
This fundraising option may have been central to Yang’s biggest victory to date. Earlier this week, his ability to crowdsource contributions brought him into the running to participate in the first debate hosted by the Democratic National Committee.
“On Monday morning, Yang’s contributions topped 65,000 individual donors across 20 states, making him eligible to appear at the first debate,” the Daily Hodl reported. “The debates will be limited to 20 candidates. Yang may join more well-known candidates such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.”
An Outspoken Advocate
During a Facebook AMA last summer, Yang was asked directly about his outlook on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. He was quick to say that he’d embrace the solutions as ones he would make use of in office.
“The blockchain has immense potential to enable transparency and trust and data flows where it could enable secure voting for a democracy like ours. It could make transactions possible that right now involve massive law firms and accounting firms and the like,” he said. “And it could help provide the foundation for the digital social currency that I’m very much for. So, I love the potential of it.”
It’s not uncommon for politicians to evoke blockchain technology as a silver bullet that they will leverage to solve the world’s problems. But something about Yang’s background, campaign, legislative proposals and social media presence makes him stand out as an apparent friend of decentralized technology. He may be a longshot for the Democratic nomination, but he seems to have already locked up the blockchain party.
Image via Yang202.com