Economy & Regulation
Technology favors the young. While tweens are swiping through life and conversing through Snapchat filters, grandma’s still getting the hang of texting. With the average age of a U.S. Senator pegged at 61, it’s no wonder that many officials either don’t get bitcoin or are openly hostile to it. Their loss is the next generation’s gain though, and there are signs that the coming wave of politicians won’t just understand cryptocurrency – they’ll be its biggest advocates.
The Class of 2018 Will Be the Lawmakers of 2028
Learning comes naturally to the young. Picking up a foreign language from birth is easy; mastering one at age 40 is a chore. It’s the same with technology. It would be inaccurate to say that older citizens don’t understand cryptocurrency – many do. For every nonagenarian decrying bitcoin as a noxious poison, there’s a Christopher Giancarlo taking to it with aplomb. Nevertheless, survey data supports the fact that crypto’s biggest advocates are the young. Millennials are twice as likely to own cryptocurrency as older age brackets and 16x more likely to buy it in future compared to over 65s.
The years pass fast though, and the current crop of crypto bears in political office will soon retire or stand down, to be replaced by more youthful and forward-thinking incumbents, to whom cryptocurrency is the iPhone: something that’s just always been there. 36-year-old Republican Senate candidate Austin Petersen is a big bitcoin supporter, and has disclosed two dozen cryptocurrency donations. “I am a big fan of the digital currency community because of what it represents, which is ultimately decentralization,” he explains. He’s not alone; across the pond, a number of youthful European politicians are also onside.
Italy Embraces the Future of Money
Gian Luca Comandini
At just 28, cryptocurrency holder and co-founder of the Italian Bitcoin Association Gian Luca Comandini is running for office. Elections take place on Sunday, and in a recent televised address, Comandini took a break from electioneering to big up bitcoin as “the future of money”. Blockchain technology and the transparency it provides are an ideal fit for a country that has been blighted by the corruption of elected officials in the past and their murky financing. The Silvio Berlusconis of the world have mercifully been phased out, and in their place a generation of pro-crypto, pro-transparency candidates are emerging such as 10 Times Better party’s Gian Luca Comandini.
On both sides of the Atlantic, the same trend can be seen, and it’s no coincidence that crypto’s cheerleaders are discernibly younger than their peers. At 32, Andrew Hemingway was the youngest gubernatorial candidate in history when he ran for office in New Hampshire four years ago – and the first to accept bitcoin. 29-year-old Democrat Patrick Nelson, who is currently running for Congress, is also accepting donations in bitcoin, together with Brian Forde of California and Arizona Republican Kelli Ward.
Whether any of these politicians get elected at the first time of asking remains to be seen, but time is on their side. It could take another four years; six; eight even, but sooner or later parliaments the world over will be filled with elected officials who’ve grown up with bitcoin. Not all of them will be outright advocates for crypto, but all will accept it as part of the social and financial fabric. Why wouldn’t they? It’ll be all they’ve ever known.
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