Politicians and cryptocurrencies don’t have a history of getting along that well with each other.
The world of crypto in many ways poses an existential threat to those who hold government office and the banks whose hegemony they help maintain.
However, across the globe there are political movements popping up that are crypto and DAO friendly. From the Pirate Party of Sweden to The Cyber party of the USA. Several attempts have been made to get representation in government for those of us who are technologically and often libertarian minded.
The Pirate Party Movement.
The Pirate Party is a label adopted by a wide range of political parties in different countries. Pirate Parties support civil rights, direct e-democracy and participation in government. They want to see reforms of copyright and patent laws and the free sharing of knowledge with open content. They also support net neutrality.
The first Pirate Party was formed in Sweden (The home of The Pirate Bay) where it is known as Piratpartiet by Rick Falkvinge. His Party was formed in response to Sweden’s ongoing political debate regarding changes in copyright law in 2005. Rick Falkvinge went on to become the CEO of BitCoin Cash.
Talking to Russia Today Rick Falkvinge has stated:
“I think you absolutely have a point that most people don’t really understand what Bitcoin is. It is ‘peer-to-peer electronic money’. That means I have a phone here. I can use that phone to transfer money to a nearby phone, or to a phone on the other side of the planet. The transfer is instant, it is practically free. Nobody gets to decide whether I can make that transaction or not, including financial authorities. And that in itself will mean a financial revolution. This is an extinction level event for banks. Banks will no longer be a necessary middleman. And that’s, more than anything, why I believe that this is the future of finance.”
He went on to say:
“…Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency. A peer-to-peer technology means there’s no middleman. Governments have been trying to stop peer-to-peer technologies since Napster. And they have been as completely unsuccessful as anybody could possibly be in that. So, I don’t see them being able to stop peer-to-peer currency either. Which leads me to the last observation. Since there’s no middleman, there’s nobody giving permission. When I’m buying a bottle of water with a credit card somewhere in the background there’s a bank giving me permission to buy a bottle of water with a credit card. And that is a horrifying thought. Because that means that the bank can also deny me permission to buy a bottle of water. Nobody thinks of this, but it’s there. With Bitcoin this is not true. There is nobody needing to give permission in the background. There’s nobody who gets to say no to a transaction. No money can be forced. No money can be seized. And here’s a big problem for governments in the future. Taxes can no longer be forced.”
The United States Pirate Party was founded by university student Brent Allison. The party was focused on the abolition of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. They wanted to reduce the length of copyright from 95 years after publication or 70 years after the authors death to 14 years. They wished to cancel patents that did not result in significant progress after 4 years instead of 20 years. Allison stepped down three days after founding.
The Pirate Party of Austria was formed in the run up to the 2006 Austrian legislative election.
The Pirate Party of Finland was founded in 2008 and entered their official registry of parties in 2009.
In 2009 European Parliamentary elections took place and various Pirate Party candidates stood. They had the most success in Sweden where they won 7.1% of the vote and had Christian Engström elected as the first ever Pirate Party MEP. Following the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon the Swedish Pirate party achieved a second MEP in 2011, Amelia Andersdotter.
In July 2009 the Pirate Party UK was registered with the Electoral commission and its first party leader was Andrew Robinson.
In 2010 Pirate Parties International was founded in Belgium to encourage cooperation between the various pirate parties.
In 2011 Berlin state election to the Abgeordnetenhaus of Biren, the Pirate Party of Berlin (a division of the German Pirate Party) won 8.9% of the vote, corresponding to 15 seats. The high number of seats was due to a system of proportional representation used.
In 2013 the Icelandic Pirate Party won 5.1% of the vote resulting in three members of Parliament. They have subsequently, after Iceland was rocked by political scandal (The Panama Papers), polled as high as 37.8%. They currently have 10 seats in parliament out of 65 representing 14.5% of the total vote
The Czech Pirate Party entered the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament for the first time after the election held on October 2017 with 10.79%. A bizarre outburst occurred recently in the Czech parliament where Czech Pirate Party member Jakub Michalek questioned Prime Minister Andrej Babiš regarding government progress on an electronic database for official documents. The Prime Minister replied that the opposition is not entitled to ask questions about the matter since all they are able to do, related to the IT sector, is to talk about Bitcoin mining.
Other Notable Pirate movements include: In Parti Pirate Francophone, the French-speaking Pirate Parties include Belgium, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Canada, and Switzerland.
Other notable political movements supporting crypto include John McAfee’s short lived 2016 Cyber Party who campaigned for privacy, freedom and technological solutions to big government. John later attempted to lead the Libertarian Party in the US presidential elections.
Steve Bannon, former chief strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump has hinted multiple times that he will be attempting to use his own cryptocurrency to promote his international populist movement although no details are clear at this time.
Politics makes strange bedfellows and as cryptocurrency further enters mainstream we will see crowdfunded pro crypto candidates being put forward more and more. We will also see growing resistance against these new types of politicians who wish to break with the old ways from the establishment. It is just a matter of time before states in the EU and across the world start to be shaped by the influence of political crypto donations and those parties that do not adapt to the new technological, political and financial paradigm stand to be left behind by those that do adopt crypto.