Cryptocurrency has become all the craze in South Florida’s political scene after Mayor Francis Suarez said that he would be taking a paycheck “100% in Bitcoin.” While candidates have not vocally supported the idea of accepting donations in bitcoin, one Florida Democrat is taking the step forward to introduce the idea for his reelection campaign. Florida Rep. Darren Soto (D) announced that he would be accepting Bitcoin donations to his 2022 reelection campaign for Florida’s 9th Congressional district.
Soto joins a small number of politicians that have opened up to the idea, which includes Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R), Congressional hopeful Laura Loomer (R), gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Yang (FWD), and Congressional hopeful Matt West (D).
Soto is currently the co-Chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, which is a bipartisan group that promotes blockchain technologies that paved the way for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Speaking of the caucus, Soto argued that it values “welcoming new types of currencies.”
Moreover, Soto explained that “for Future Forum,” which is another congressional caucus that Soto is a chair of, “this is an interesting new financial asset for young people. In fact, … 45% of those using cryptocurrencies are millennial, and 13% are Gen Z.”
Soto said “it’s also about being competitive in the future,” noting that “as these young people are getting older and they are contributing more, we want to make sure we’re well-positioned.”
As more political figures express an interest in accepting donations, legal counsels are also taking notice and sharing what that means for the future of political campaigns.
Austin Graham, the legal counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, which is a national, nonpartisan elections watchdog, commented that “it’s king of gathering momentum in terms of the number of candidates.”
“It used to sort of be this symbol of Libertarian ideology, or sort of just a fringe stance,” Graham shared, adding that “I think as the general public has become more knowledgeable and familiar with cryptocurrencies, so have campaigns.”
However, “it’s still not like every candidate for federal office is now taking Bitcoin.”