NFTs become new craze for US campaign fundraising

If candidates would allow donors to pay for NFTs by using crypto, it could set up the possibility for anonymous donations

US congressional candidates have discovered the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in order to help finance their campaigns in the midterm elections.

What began in early 2021 as a new way to promote art using the blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies, has now expanded to politics.

Josh White, an assistant professor of finance at Vanderbilt University and a former economist with the SEC claimed that, if candidates allow donors to pay for NFTs by using cryptocurrency, this could create new possibilities for anonymous donations.

Zachary Fallon, a former SEC official and a partner at the New York law firm Ketsal said that if a candidate promises that donors can make money off their NFTs by selling or trading them in a secondary market, then the “SEC would begin to take an interest in such cases”.

“I think that’s something that policymakers are going to have to wrestle with for sure,” he noted.

Democrat Shrina Kurani, running for a House seat in California, decided to offer NFTs as incentives for donors, with varying degrees of success.

She called NFTs her “campaign merchandise” and noted she was the first to distribute NFTs to campaign donors through a digital marketplace called SolSea.

Kurani even compared her collecting funds through the NFT offering, with the way former President Donald Trump used his MAGA hats in order to raise millions of dollars from his supporters.

However, she only managed to raise $6,610 and gave out less than a dozen tokens when the offer expired at the end of December.

On the other hand, the republican Blake Masters, who’s campaigning for the Senate in Arizona, said he raised nearly $575,000 in late December by promising to give donors tokens with cover art for a book about start-up companies that he wrote with Silicon Valley billionaire and top Trump ally Peter Thiel.

Even Melania Trump recently launched NFTs that would help donors collect “rare and limited-edition pieces while benefiting children in the foster care community”.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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