Shrina Kurani, a Democrat running in California’s 42nd Congressional District, will publish 2,022 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Solana blockchain today as part of her election campaign.
The NFTs – digital tokens representing “vision and concept statements” and potential Web 3 policy agenda items linked to addresses on the Solana blockchain – are intended to bring the crypto industry into Kurani’s campaign to win a seat on the House of Representatives.
“There’s a lot of misunderstanding in terms of what crypto is, what crypto can be, the direction that it’s going in, who it serves,” Kurani told CoinDesk. “And I think there’s a way for us to be able to build more of a bridge between policymakers and folks in the space to be able to actually have more of a conversation and that I think, brings me to my second goal, which is actually engaging the crypto community to be able to participate in the future of crypto legislation.”
The NFTs would be part of a broader push, Kurani said, saying her campaign could also use tools like Discord to engage a community.
Kurani, whose LinkedIn profile says she’s currently the vice president of business at investment startup Republic, said she picked Solana to address environmental concerns, noting its delegated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. Kurani has a degree in sustainability science, and is making climate issues a part of her campaign.
To that end, the would-be lawmaker sees education around blockchain and cryptocurrencies as a key issue in the sustainability conversation.
“When you’re talking about the future of technology, there’s always going to be a footprint, right? Using Google, [using] email, using any form of technology, plugging into a wall outlet uses energy, right? And it depends on where the energy is being sourced from how efficient those processes are,” she said.
The trade-off – the potential for a more inclusive financial system – is worth it, in Kurani’s eyes.
If Kurani is elected, she sees tax and accounting rules as two areas that can easily be addressed with new legislation.
“I think clarity is something that helps everyone across the board, to help regulators and to help the participants,” she said. “I think there’s sort of baseline low-hanging fruit that we can help everyone in the space be able to participate in a compliant way that doesn’t add an onerous amount of regulatory overhead that we might be seeing.”
She also does not see cryptocurrency regulation as being a partisan issue. The issue will “affect everyone,” and it will require lawmakers from both major political parties to address.
“We’re thinking about the next generation of the internet as participatory and inclusive, where this type of unit user ownership can actually promote financial inclusion, where we can have enhanced transparency across the board,” Kurani said.
Thursday’s slate of NFTs are a salvo in that debate in bringing new audiences to the campaign, she said.
“I think the main goal is to really educate the American population on blockchain and to continue building that bridge between crypto and politics, to engage the community, and yes, help us get to Congress and we can actually have more [crypto]-literate candidates,” she said.