Although cryptocurrency may still be misunderstood on Capitol Hill, crypto is becoming more political as its influence gains traction. For instance, lobbying by those involved in the cryptocurrency industry has reached new heights. A report from the nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen found that the number of lobbyists for cryptocurrency-related issues rose from 115 in 2018 to 320 in 2021. The report further indicated that the number of representatives within the cryptocurrency industry increased from 47 to 157 during that time period.
The United States midterm elections — set to take place on November 8, 2022 — are further demonstrating the politicization of crypto. This has become evident as a number of crypto holders continue to invest big in political campaigns across the country. For example, Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto exchange FTX, has helped raise over $14 million for “Protect Our Future,” a political action committee supporting candidates running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The influence crypto is having on politics was also recently demonstrated at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference (SALT), which took place in The Bahamas this year. The event, which attracted over 2,000 attendees, featured a number of global leaders during panel discussions, including former U.S. presidential and New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang.
Yang conducted a keynote at the SALT conference entitled “How Governments Can Empower the People with Crypto.” Following this discussion, Cointelegraph spoke with Yang about his views on crypto being leveraged for political campaigns and universal basic income (UBI).
Yang also mentioned his plans for the future of crypto in politics, discussing how this ties into his newly formed Forward Party, which aims to unite America’s political parties. For context, Laura Del Savio, senior communications strategist of the Forward Party, told Cointelegraph that the organization is working to reform America’s political system so that incentives don’t push people toward extremes to prevent compromise:
“Other political parties thrive by dividing America. We are bringing them together, and are looking to put political power in the hands of the people. That goal is shared by the crypto community. Blockchain technology makes new governance structures possible, and this will provide stronger representation.”
The Italian high-end fashion label Gucci has announced it will begin accepting cryptocurrency payments by the end of the month in five of its United States stores, with plans to extend the service to all of its 111 stores in North America.
Gucci will accept 12 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC), Litecoin (LTC), Shiba Inu (SHIB), Dogecoin (DOGE) and five U.S. dollar stablecoins, according to Vogue Business.
Customers paying with crypto in-store at the pilot locations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta and Las Vegas will be sent an email with a QR code to pay via their digital asset wallet. Employees have started to undertake training and education on crypto, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and Web3 in preparation for the launch.
Gucci has recently been on a Web3 adoption spree with two NFT collections launched in 2022 — the “SUPERGUCCI” collection in February in collaboration with toy brand SUPERPLASTIC, and the “Gucci Grail” collection in March targeting owners of existing blue-chip NFT projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, Pudgy Penguins and World of Women.
Gucci has further expanded into Web3 through its purchase of virtual land in The Sandbox in February to develop a virtual retail experience mirroring its Vault e-store.
The Gucci Vault is an online concept store representing “Gucci’s presence in the Metaverse,” featuring a curated selection by its creative director of rare vintage Gucci pieces.
Popular podcaster Joe Rogan just gets Bitcoin (BTC). In his most recent podcast with Khalil Rountree, a renowned mixed martial (MMA) fighter, Rogan explained that BTC is something that the “government didn’t see coming.”
“I think of Bitcoin the same way I think of the early internet. They [the government] didn’t see it coming and now it’s a viable form of currency–you can actually buy things with it.”
Rogan explained that there will be a time when “some government” will implement a “centralized currency that they can control,” with the intention to “limit what you spend your money on.” Bitcoin is outside of government control, as it is a decentralized and permissionless payment network.
Rogan is a vocal Bitcoin supporter, having first spoken about the world’s largest cryptocurrency in 2014. Rogan explained to Andreas Antonopoulos in 2016 that he was “all in” on team Bitcoin when the price was under $1,000.
While 2021 was the year that popular celebrities clamored for crypto, Joe Rogan’s conviction for Bitcoin ossified and evolved.
Rogan has ventured deeper down the Bitcoin rabbit hole: In only January this year, Rogan had hope for Bitcoin but explained it could still “fall apart.” In yesterday’s MMA podcast, Rogan’s conviction shined.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.