In a sign of the growing popularity of NFTs, Matt West, a Democratic political candidate for Oregon's 6th Congressional District, is releasing 2,000 Crypto Beavers NFTs that will enable patrons to help fund his campaign.
The name pays homage to Oregon's state animal, the beaver, and makes use of West's background as a DeFi developer, engineer, and scientist.
West, the first crypto developer to run for Congress, is part of a new crop of politicians releasing NFT collections and using alternative finance to wrest away control from special interest groups: "Crypto is part of my background, for sure," he said.
The price of the NFTs will range from approximately $155 (0.05 ETH) to more than $4,600 (1.5 ETH). Any secondary market sales will provide royalties to Paul Zeaiter, the artist behind the Crypto Beavers. Zeaiter previously designed posters for DUNE, The Batman, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and Spiderman: Far From Home.
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"I really think it's going to be a great way to fight back against dark money, DC elites and centralized power in a very unique way," West told Axios about the NFT release.
A key tenet of West’s campaign focuses on building the economy of the future, and integrating new technologies in a way that drives higher wages, greater leisure time and better jobs: “Automation is speeding up. Web 3.0 is upon us. But our lawmakers are confused about the basic functionality of the internet,” West said on his site.
“Incredible opportunities to decentralize finance are actively shunned by a Congress that doesn’t understand the technology and is beholden to big banks.”
However, it doesn't mean that running political fundraising efforts through NFTs is not without challenges. "The biggest issue with NFTs and campaigns is it is considered a donation," West told Axios. "So only those who are legally allowed to donate are legally allowed to mint."