For the first time the Lightning Network, a bitcoin scaling solution, officially enters the US presidential election.
About a month ago, supporters of Andrew Yang, a Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, launched a crypto-friendly super PAC (political action committee), Humanity Forward Fund (Humanity FWD). In partnership with OpenNode payment processor, the fund will be accepting payments via the Lightning Network.
OpenNode’s 1% processing fee is far lower than that of credit card processors, which want to charge the super PAC up to 4 times that amount. In the words of OpenNode CEO Afnan Rahman, OpenNode “allows the donors to have all of the amount go toward the actual donation” rather than fees.
As for Andrew Yang, an outspoken proponent of cryptocurrencies began accepting bitcoin, ethereum, and other coins for his campaign over a year ago.
To celebrate the launch of the Humanity Forward Fund, the team ran the 21 DAYS OF BITCOIN FOR THE 21st CENTURY fundraising challenge when they accepted exclusively bitcoin for 21 days from July 25th till August 14th. After that, they will also accept fiat donations. Humanity FWD founder Seth Cohen said the group hasn’t decided whether the PAC will hold bitcoin or immediately convert to fiat.
Although Americans have donated bitcoin to political campaign initiatives before, the 2020 election may be the first one with a bitcoin-centric super PAC supporting a specific candidate and the first time the Lightning Network is used to help fund a political campaign.
What’s more, Yang seems to be the most pro-crypto candidate, even listing an official promise on his campaign’s website to “promote legislation that provides clarity” to the cryptocurrency industry. He also spoke at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2019 conference.
By the way, it’s perfectly legal to accept crypto for a national election in the USA — here’s the Federal Election Commission on Bitcoin contributions.
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