With the transparency of the blockchain, political contributions may soon be fully auditable by anyone, anywhere, any time. It’s an anti-corruption dynamic that all democracies could use in this day and age. That seems to be the plan for Raphael Socher, who’s just set up an Ethereum smart contract to accept campaign contributions to support his run to represent Florida’s 98th state house district.
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Toward Campaign Finance Transparency
In American politics, when you’re an electoral insurgent against an incumbent, it’s helpful to have an open mind to trying things differently.
And, at a time when many Americans perceive politicians as crooked in general, it’s also helpful to “stand out from the crowd,” as it were.
Raphael Socher, a senior in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami, has apparently taken both of those realities to heart in creating his own Ethereum smart contract for campaign contributions amid his bid to become a State Representative for Florida’s 98th district.
The move helps Socher hone in on three aspects of his platform: 1) the youth, which are crypto-friendly, 2) technology, and 3) campaign transparency.
At press time, Socher has collected two ether contributions totaling 0.0214 collectively. The young candidate, whose site is compatible with MetaMask, has supplied a Know Your Customer (KYC) form for contributors to fill out; due to campaign finance laws in America, Socher must collect “name, phone #, occupation, and two address lines” for donations to be acceptable.
Even if Socher’s campaign ends up unsuccessful, his smart contract may be the first of many more to come in American politics. We’ve asked for comment from Mr. Socher and will update this article as needed if he obliges.
Smart Contract Language Pruned from Florida Bill?
Days ago, the state of Tennessee made waves for passing legislation that formalized the state’s recognition of legally-binding smart contracts.
In a few states around the nation, similar bills are apparently making their way through their local legislative processes, but it looks like one such bill in Florida has had its language on smart contracts removed.
That reality is not necessarily surprising. Bills are oftentimes cut down repeatedly as compromises are made for time and coherence. The smart contract question will surely be picked up again in Florida.
For now, though, you can check the axing for yourself. The originally introduced Florida House Bill 3157 had two mentions of the word “smart contract,” whereas the updated portion of the bill has zero.
Don’t be surprised if similar legislation is reintroduced in the months ahead, though. It’s clear that crypto laws are just beginning.
What’s your take? Do you think accepting crypto for campaign contributions is a good or bad idea at this stage in the cryptoverse? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via Raphael Socher 2018, Health News Florida
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