State Rep Views Bitcoin As Legitimate Currency Competitor
It’s been a turbulent week for the digital currency known as Bitcoin. First, we saw Bitfloor, the fourth-largest Bitcoin exchange, fall victim to a $250,000 hacking theft. Next we heard Bitcoin used as part of a blackmail scheme against Mitt Romney. Finally, and perhaps most strangely, such a threat has actually increased Bitcoin value.
But before any of this, Bitcoin earned some headlines for a far less controversial reason.
Mark Warden, a New Hampshire State Representative, is the first incumbent politician to accept Bitcoin donations as he runs for re-election. A republican from just outside of Manchester, Rep. Warden spoke to PYMNTS.com about how the Bitcoin system appeals to him and the effect it’s had on his campaign.
“The idea behind Bitcoin was to have a currency that competes against the U.S. dollar, or Chinese yuan, or Japanese yen or euro, and gives people a choice. It’s something that ideally will not be subject to inflationary whims,” Warden says.
Warden describes himself as a “liberty activist” who works with “libertarian leaning” constituents. As such, that Bitcoin lacks a central authority and operates outside the government offers some natural appeal.
And just how did Warden get the idea to accept Bitcoin donations? From a staffer who requested to be paid a Bitcoin-per-hour for his work, and who then suggested Warden accept the medium as part of his campaign.
So far, Warden says the attention he’s received from Bitcoin supporters has been significant.
“Support has come in from all around the country, and really that’s as much support for the whole Bitcoin revolution as it is for my campaign,” Warden says. The right-leaning Rep. says he’s received donations from Texas, Rhode Island, Virginia and even the U.K., although he had to return the latter due to federal election laws.
To hear more of Warden’s thoughts on Bitcoin as a currency competitor, how it’s helped his campaign and the future of digital currency, listen to the full interview.
State Representative, New Hampshire
Republican State Rep. in New Hampshire, representing Goffstown and Weare, 2011-12. Awarded "Legislator of the Year" by New Hampshire Liberty Alliance. Member, Criminal Justice & Public Safety committee (House). Co-founder, Natural Rights Council. Profession: real estate agent and investor. Website: www.markwarden.com.
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