MIT Digital Currency Initiative Specialist Brian Forde: Bitcoin is not Being Used in Mid-Term Elections
The mid-term elections in the United States are coming up and some people are arguing whether Bitcoin is being used to mess with them. Brian Forde has recently written an op piece for Coindesk about this issue. Forde ran for the U. S. Congress recently for California 45th district and he is experienced with the blockchain technology, as well working as Senior Tech Advisor for the Obama government.
In the article, Forde argues that this is one of the most important elections recently and that misinformation is a huge problem. He points out that many articles have written about Bitcoin and that most of them are not very well informed.
He affirms that about $300,000 USD of his campaign was contributed via cryptocurrencies and that he was not even an outsider candidate, he was very pro-establishment. People often make incorrect assumptions about how cryptos work, he believes.
The Biggest Misconceptions About Bitcoin And The Other Cryptos
The main point, he believes, is that the press only uses raw numbers when noticing how much cryptos are used to fund campaigns. For instance, one article that Forde has cited has affirmed that about $550,000 USD in cryptos have been used for funding campaigns since 2014. While the number may seem big, it is actually not. This represents only 0.032% of the whole donations.
This causes issues because the numbers are wrong and people make biased assumptions, the author believes. He cites that some people say that nearly 3 billion people use cryptos, which is not the truth, that would be 40% of the world. Not even 10% of the world uses cryptos, in fact. In fact, the number was confused between cryptos and other digital money.
Forde’s second point is that many people claim that cryptos are directly linked to illicit activities including money laundering. However, the point is that all money can be used for money laundering. Banks seem wary of cryptos sometimes but then you remember that they are often included in schemes for money laundering.
Banks are generally the most used ways to launder money and yet people are constantly accusing Bitcoin of being the ugly boogeyman. Technology, the specialist affirms, can be used for both good and bad things. Acting as if cryptos are only used for the bad things is simply not fair to the users and to the technology at all.
He also points out that the critics like to claim that cryptos cannot be inspected by the public but they forget that, unlike you use Monero or some other privacy coin, you can track the transactions easily. They may not have such an organized system as some other systems do, but they are also trackable.
Some prepaid debit cards, for instance, can be bought with cash in convenience stores. If you want to do something illegal, you can do it. There are ways to prevent that when you use cryptos or not.
Bitcoin is not anonymous. In fact, the author affirms that crypto companies are highly regulated in the United States, so there is no way for foreign actors to use cryptos to mess with the elections. It’s just paranoia.
Can Cryptos Be Used For Interfering With The Elections?
Yes, but you should not be too much worried about it. Many other ways can be used and most of them can be tracked. It could be said that some privacy coins like Monero would be more dangerous than but they are not widely used and the same could be said about prepaid debit cards.
These rumors, the author states, are unfortunately only used to cause hysteria and misconceptions about the technology.
The whole issue is very complicated and only will be solved with time. There are many bad rumors about cryptos and while some tokens definitely represent more danger for democracy than other (Monero, we are looking at you), even they do not represent anything that can be considered so important when you have a myriad of ways of influencing the elections and governments even using legal ways like lobby.