A politician running for a seat in Swedish parliament has pledged to accept no money but Bitcoin donations in his campaign, calling himself the “world’s first political Bitcoin candidate.”
Mathias Sundin, a 36-year-old member of Sweden’s liberal center-right party Folkpartiet and current Deputy Mayor of Norrköping, said the move to accept nothing but cryptocurrency was based on the idea that politics is global.
“The world is getting connected in an unprecedented way,” Sundin wrote on his personal blog. “Bitcoin is a symbol of this development, and could also play a huge part in changing how the world works.”
If elected to Parliament in Sweden’s September 14 elections, Sundin promised to fight for privacy protection and education reform, as well as “resist[ing] knee-jerk regulation of Bitcoin, other digital currencies, and disruptive innovation in general.”
People around the world are welcome to donate up to 20,000 Swedish kronor (about 4.7 bitcoins or $2,900) to his campaign, Sundin said, displaying his Internet savvy with a reference to the recent success of a wildly popular Kickstarter campaign.
“It would be nice to beat potato salad guy ☺,” he wrote (with a virtual grin and a wink).
Personal campaign donations play a relatively small role in Swedish politics, however, as opposed to campaigns in America, which are often made or broken based on the amount of money poured into canvassing, stumping, and advertising for or against candidates.
Donating to Sundin’s campaign, therefore, won’t make a significant difference to his chances of being elected.
Sundin is likely to win the parliamentary seat regardless, as Reddit user Rabbitlion noted, since he is first on his party’s list for his district. “I’d estimate his chances right now are somewhere around 90-98% of getting in,” the user wrote.
Though the Bitcoins-only campaign stunt is unlikely to determine Sundin’s success, the politician said the move could inspire conversation about Bitcoin in Sweden, a country which lacks significant mainstream coverage of cryptocurrency. Sundin wrote:
“I think this is a great chance for the Bitcoin community to show that it’s strong and can be taken seriously.”