One of the growing trends in the world of politics all over the world is candidates accepting campaign contributions from supporters in bitcoin. Across the globe, there are candidates incorporating the virtual currency into their election platform and campaign financing model.
Mathias Sundin is a candidate running for Sweden’s parliament, and he is only accepting donations in bitcoin. The former Liberal Party Member of Parliament and deputy mayor of Norrkoping wrote in a blog post Thursday that if supporters want him to regain a seat in parliament then they must refrain from donating in dollars, euros or kronor.
Sundin, who is running to represent the county of Östergötland, would be the first candidate in the world to run a campaign that only allows bitcoins. He told CoinDesk in an interview last week that bitcoin is a superb innovation.
“Bitcoin – and other digital currencies – is a fantastic innovation. By accepting only bitcoin in my campaign… I want to spread the knowledge and also hope some new people will try it,” Sundin averred. “In a couple of years three or four billion people will have a smart phone and all be connected with each other. From this there will be a lot of disruptive innovation that will be good for humanity. Strong forces will be challenged and they will come out fighting, so then we have to have politicians that see what is going on embrace the change in the world.”
In the meantime, Sundin vows to refrain from allowing “knee-jerk regulation of bitcoin” that would disrupt the innovative process of the peer-to-peer decentralized digital currency and other virtual currencies.
The political candidate didn’t release any specific numbers, but he did confirm that his campaign has received approximately 30 donations on the first day of the announcement.
We reported last month that the Swedish central bank – the Sveriges Riksbank – published a report authored by Bjorn Segendorf that offered analysis on the state of bitcoin in the Scandinavian country and the potential economic benefits that virtual currencies could offer.
It explained how bitcoin is serving the important function of advancing the payment industry, but a hindrance is that the price of bitcoin continues to be volatile and the number of transactions that take place are relatively low compared to other conventional forms of payment. Despite the possible risks behind an investment in bitcoin, the central bank noted that it’s a positive innovation and experience in the Swedish market.
In the end, the future of bitcoin depends on its ubiquity.
“The impact of an innovation will depend on how much it is used. All available data indicate that the use of virtual currencies is very limited, in terms of the number of users, the number of transactions and also the value mediated. This means that both the positive and the negative effects are very minor. If the situation were to change, and virtual currencies were to be used to a much greater extent, the situation could well change.”
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