UK Politician Exceeds Cryptocurrency Crowdfunding Target by 50%

Eilidh Wagstaff
Mar 10, 2015 at 18:10 UTC
Updated Mar 11, 2015 at 09:48 UTC
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Gulnar Hasnain, Green Party candidate for the London constituency of Vauxhall, has raised £1,500 through a cryptocurrency crowdfunding campaign.

The campaign’s initial fundraising target was £1,000, but total bitcoin, dogecoin and litecoin donations exceeded that amount by 50%. The funds will be used to pay for marketing materials ahead of the UK’s General Election next May.

Hasnain described the support she’s received from the bitcoin community as “astounding”, adding:

“It’s just great to feel the love out there from this community of people who aren’t necessarily interested in politics but are interested in change.”

Some 31 people contributed to the campaign with an average donation size of just over £48.

The campaign – which lasted four weeks – closed at the end of February. Hasnain hasn’t yet spent the money raised, but plans to use the funds to pay for leaflets outlining the Green Party’s policies on housing, tax evasion and the environment.

Hasnain joins a number of politicians who are already embracing digital currency donations, including several in the US. The most notable of these is Greg Abbott, the Republican governor for Texas, who accepted bitcoin from his supporters during a 2014 gubernatorial race.

Back in September, Swedish politician Mathias Sundin became a member of his country’s parliament after funding his election campaign solely in bitcoin.

According to Hasnain, the blockchain technology that underpins bitcoin has the potential to change more than just how politicians fundraise. It could also be used to make voting simpler and more secure in the future.

“It’s being tested and there are still issues,” Hasnain said, adding: “Though it does have transformative potential.”