Bitcoin politician wants to upgrade democracy in Vermont

jeremyhansen09 Dec 2013 / Watch Dog – When Jeremy Hansen ran for political office in 2012, he had no idea his candidacy would spark imaginations across the country.

BOLD: Jeremy Hansen was one of the first political candidates to accept donations by Bitcoin.

The assistant professor of computer science at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., ran for the Vermont state Senate for Washington County on a bold platform of using online technology to ask every citizen their view on a particular vote, a system also proposed by then independent congressional candidate Phil Dodds in central Florida.

The idea was that once they received a grand tally from constituents, they’d cast the vote according to the most favored position, a 21st century version of the delegate model once imagined by 18th century political philosopher Edmund Burke.

What made Hansen’s democratic experiment exciting and new was not only the creative online portal that would be used to conduct a poll on all votes, nicknamed DirectRep, but also his willingness to accept a digital alternative currency, Bitcoin.

As one of the first political candidates in the country to accept Bitcoin, a highly limited cryptographic currency created by virtue of computing power and traded via peer-to-peer networks, he cemented his reputation as a new wave political actor.

“I looked at the law myself, into Vermont’s general statutes, and I looked at the requirements for campaign contributions. I also examined the FEC’s how-to guide,” Hansen told Vermont Watchdog……. Read more


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