Daughter of immigrant parents from India is the first Congressional candidate to engage the crypto community.
Shrina Kurani, an Indian American engineer entrepreneur, plans to issue 2,022 non-fungible tokens (NFT) to raise funds for her Congressional run in California’s 42nd Congressional District.
Kurani, daughter of immigrant parents from India, who is challenging 30-year incumbent Washington politician Ken Calvert, is the first candidate for Congress to utilize NFTs — a unique, collectible digital item that is sold or exchanged over the internet.
The NFTs – digital tokens representing “vision and concept statements” and potential Web 3 policy agenda items linked to addresses on the Solana blockchain – are intended to bring the crypto industry into the Democrat’s campaign.
“There’s a lot of misunderstanding in terms of what crypto is, what crypto can be, the direction that it’s going in, who it serves,” Kurani told CoinDesk, a platform focused on emerging crypto-economy.
“I think there’s a way for us to be able to build more of a bridge between policymakers and folks in the space to be able to actually have more of a conversation,” she said.
“And that, I think, brings me to my second goal, which is actually engaging the crypto community to be able to participate in the future of crypto legislation,” Kurani said.
Kurani, vice president of business at investment startup Republic, said she picked Solana to address environmental concerns, noting its delegated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
Kurani has a degree in sustainability science, and is making climate issues a part of her campaign/ To that end, the would-be lawmaker sees education around blockchain and cryptocurrencies as a key issue in the sustainability conversation.
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“When you’re talking about the future of technology, there’s always going to be a footprint, right? Using Google, [using] email, using any form of technology, plugging into a wall outlet uses energy, right? And it depends on where the energy is being sourced from how efficient those processes are,” she said.
The trade-off – the potential for a more inclusive financial system – is worth it, in Kurani’s eyes. If elected, Kurani sees tax and accounting rules as two areas that can easily be addressed with new legislation.
“I think clarity is something that helps everyone across the board, to help regulators and to help the participants,” she said.
“I think there’s sort of baseline low-hanging fruit that we can help everyone in the space be able to participate in a compliant way that doesn’t add an onerous amount of regulatory overhead that we might be seeing.”
She also does not see cryptocurrency regulation as being a partisan issue. The issue will “affect everyone,” and it will require lawmakers from both major political parties to address.
“We’re thinking about the next generation of the internet as participatory and inclusive, where this type of unit user ownership can actually promote financial inclusion, where we can have enhanced transparency across the board,” Kurani said.
“I think the main goal is to really educate the American population on blockchain and to continue building that bridge between crypto and politics, to engage the community, and yes, help us get to Congress and we can actually have more [crypto]-literate candidates,” she said.