How a Swedish politician won an election using Bitcoin donations only.
Over the past years, many politicians have run Bitcoin-centric campaigns; however, they have not succeeded in reaching centralized higher political office. Mathias Sundin, who won the recent Swedish parliamentary elections, holds the world record in making it using a bitcoin donations only campaign. Dollars, Euros or even Swedish kronor are not acceptable to him. Says Mathias on his blog:
“If you want to support my campaign, don’t give me dollars, Euros or Swedish kronor, you must donate in bitcoins.”
Mathias Sundin has always supported bitcoins. He is not worried about the criticism raised against the bitcoin system, but. Believes that bitcoin has the potential to change the world. Mathias Sundin believes bitcoin is better because:
- Bitcoins solves the problems with trust
Mathias Sundin believes the bitcoin system is an effective tool to overcome trust problems. For example, in the bitcoin system, two people will sign a digital contract on their smartphones regarding any transaction. The remaining transaction will then be completed automatically. It is safe since there is no possibility to lose either money or products. Here is a good example:
- Bitcoins connects people
The world is now like a village, with many potential customers all over the world. For example, a software company can sell its software online to customers from all over the world. Making the payment systems easier improves online performance incrementally.. People from all over the world can use the same products to connect.
- All politics is global
According to Mathias Sundin, bitcoins connect people all over the world and this connection generates a lot of ideas. These ideas are important for future innovation. When so many people share their understandings, intentions, an innovation enabled ecosystem is created.
So, we should accept and develop the bitcoin idea to make our economic development faster. Sundin collects a large amount of bitcoin donations from all over the world, and thus, many people support his ideas and beliefs. Though Mathias Sundin promised to develop the education system, to make the tax system more favorable for entrepreneurs, to defend privacy rights etc., he believes his bitcoin advocacy made him a winner in the parliamentary election. People all over the world support his idea and want to see it become a widespread reality. For him it is isn’t a matter of winning a seat in the parliament. His political agenda gives the citizens and the world a clear image of what he wants to tackle the moment he takes his seat in the parliament.
- Fight Knee-jerk regulation of Bitcoin, other currencies and disruptive innovation.
The country’s regulatory framework is relatively liberal. Wallen, an official from the Swedish Tax Agency, has said is the agency is drafting rules for Bitcoin users. These rules are likely to regulate Bitcoin-like assets stating that Bitcoin fails to meet Sweden’s definition of a currency. Wallen is also considering whether to tax bitcoin miners as businesses. Currencies are traditionally tied to a central bank or geographical area. This is a top item on Sundins agenda, and since he won an election through bitcoin; he definitely knows that bitcoin is a virtual currency which funded his successful campaigns.
- Back education reform
Mathias Sundin hopes his bitcoin-only funded campaign will be a means to improve education across Sweden. School shutdowns and deteriorating results are also top items on his agenda. Reforming the whole education system to make sure that both public and private schools performance is standardized citing that private schools are after making profits and the faith stuck in peoples mind that private schools perform better than public schools. He will make sure that this faith is changed and the trust is earned by both sectors by providing quality education.
- Defend privacy rights
Every citizen has a right to protect his or her private information, and revealing such information to other parties is a threat to privacy. Every citizen has a right to protect their medical information, residential address, and to access information on them held by the by the authorities. Press freedom has been a major issue which sometimes violates privacy rights. Sundin is keen on defending rules to help each citizen maintain their privacy rights. People who feel their reputation has been tarnished could sue for defamation, but, without constitutional change the state’s hands appear tied.
- Working towards developing a tax system that promotes innovative, fast growing companies.
Sundin believes that economies have to keep up with technological advances including Bitcoin. An entrepreneur who develops software could potentially reach billions of people, and with a simple money transferring system, like bitcoin, charging for it will be easier. Sundin will also work towards t lowering taxes for entrepreneurs and decrease regulations in order to create a better business climate. Sweden has already managed to attract a number of prominent crypto currency businesses, ranging from exchanges to mining companies.
- Promote the spreading of Bitcoin and increase awareness.
Bitcoin has so far not had much of an impact on the local economy. The Swedish central bank found that bitcoin trading volumes in the country were relatively low and concluded that bitcoin did not have any measurable impact on the country’s retail payment market. Considering this fact Sundin promises to keep promoting bitcoin in the future. Sundin is set to persuade banks and other financial organizations that working with bitcoin companies is ultimately a positive and will lead to increased economic growth of the country. Sundin still believes that more work is necessary to explain the potential of bitcoin, , and that the potential use of bitcoin will make economic growth faster. However, based on a recently published research paper, the Swedish Central Bank found low volume transactions locally, concluding that bitcoin does not currently have a measurable impact on retail market or financial stability.
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