Category Archives: Brian Forde

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US Politician Sets Record Straight on Crypto Campaign Donations

US politician Brian Forde published an article Monday criticizing the misinformation around cryptocurrency campaign donations, pointing to a number of areas where these contributions are far more transparent than they are portrayed as in the mainstream media.

Forde has a number of notable achievements in US politics, including serving as Senior Tech Adviser in the Obama administration where he was responsible for bringing the president up to date on Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry. During a recent run for Congress in California’s 45th district, he personally collected around USD 300,000 in cryptocurrency campaign contributions.

Clarifying transparency

Addressing claims that campaign donations via digital currency meant that they could not be easily verified by the public, Forde said that all donations were subject to the same standards as fiat. This means any money received must be published with the donors’ full name and address, although publishing the wallet address he says goes against their financial privacy. Although some people have allegedly been calling for the publication of wallet addresses, bank account or credit card numbers where donations are made from are not published.

Forde added that the most anonymous form of payment that could be made would actually be in cash, while the easiest way to make an illegal donation would be with a ”prepaid debit card bought with cash at a convenience store — not cryptocurrencies”.

Because wallet providers in the US are subject to strict know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) policies, Forde argues that that Bitcoin is not a privacy coin, nor is it anonymous.

Unfair claims of crypto’s illicit uses

Another area that he found problematic in media coverage of crypto donations is its portrayal as an asset directly connected to illicit activities, while cash and credit card frauds are left out of the conversation. Pointing to a list from the UK government which asses the different forms of money laundering that has been taking place, he noted that Bitcoin came at the bottom of the list.

”On that basis, the means of payment should not be our litmus test to determine how candidates, or anyone, can or cannot receive money,” Forde writes.

Media coverage suggesting cryptocurrency has been used by foreign actors to influence the US election is misleading, he says. Rather than being used to make direct campaign donations, it has been, in some cases, been used to purchase internet domain names and pay for servers. Saying that the government does not ban foreign actors from using the internet or social media which can also influence the outcome of elections, Forde reasons that this means they should also not be stopped from using cryptocurrency in the ways it has been proven to be used.


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California Congressional Candidate Runs on Pro-Crypto Platform

Brian Forde is currently running for California’s 45th District seat in the US House of Representatives, and his unique campaign promise is to bridge the gap between the US government and the cryptocurrency community.

Speaking at the Ethereum Summit in Queens, NY on Saturday, he outlined his pro-crypto platform that includes a plan that would allow voters to share their opinions on policy preferences on a blockchain.

“What I want to do is create transparency for the voice of the citizen, so that if I do make a decision that’s not consistent with what all the votes said, then I’ve got to explain myself,” Forde detailed at the summit.

”I want to [create] transparency for the voice of the citizen”

Speaking to CoinDesk recently, Forde discussed the reasoning and ideas behind his platform, with the primary focus being the promotion of transparency between government and the public.

“If you’re upset at your member of Congress, you call them, you fax them, you text them, you email them, and in theory, there’s someone in the background, some intern – kind of chicken scratches on the wall – counting how people feel. Is that publicly auditable? No,” Forde told CoinDesk.

Regarding his plan to allow voters to utilize blockchain technology in communications with local government, he said: “I’d be the first member of Congress to adopt blockchain voting to hear from my constituents about how they feel on the policies I’m about to vote on.”

Crypto savvy

What could perhaps become the most valuable aspect of Forde’s role should he be elected, is the ability he would have to educate other members of Congress on blockchain and cryptocurrency-related issues. The US government has been struggling to pass comprehensive legislation in this regard, with many stating the most problematic issue is a lack of relevant knowledge from representatives.

As Forde noted, the lack of tech-savviness was ”clearly on display” during Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony regarding the social media platform’s sharing of personal data with third parties. The lack of understanding is a threat to both technological businesses in the US, as well as the promotion of tech innovations.

The candidate described his potential role in Congress as one of acting as a helpful ambassador to his colleagues in the areas of blockchain, technology and cryptocurrency.

Forde’s campaign is also accepting cryptocurrency donations, although it is not the first of its kind to do so.

He was also responsible for the White House memo on Bitcoin shared during the Obama administration. The campaign was announced in July last year, looking to replace Republican incumbent Rep Mimi Walters.


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