If Brian Forde is successful in his quest to represent California’s 45th congressional district in Congress, Bitcoin and other digital currencies could soon have a new friend in the nation’s capital. The 37-year old former digital currency director at MIT’s Media Lab is one of several candidates in that hotly-contested race, but he’s already attracted the attention of a number of prominent crypto investors who have been impressed by his knowledge and support for digital currency technology.
Forde, a Democrat, is running in an area that has long been considered a GOP stronghold. The district’s current representative is Republican Mimi Walters, who was first elected to Congress in 2014. Her Orange County district is one of roughly two dozen congressional districts considered a “top target” for Democrats as they fight to regain control of the House of Representatives.
Forde has emphasized his technology experience, citing the district’s reliance on new tech innovation for economic growth: “Tech is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in the district. In addition to our fair share of unicorns—from Broadcom to Blizzard Entertainment—Amazon, Google, and others have offices here, too.”
His interest in digital currency and other innovative technologies has helped to earn him the support of crypto investors and enthusiasts, including Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Mike Novogratz, and Pete Briger – just to name a few. Bloomberg reports that Forde has been receiving Bitcoin donations for his campaign and has received more crypto donations “than all previous congressional candidates combined.”
Those crypto donations have reportedly been a major component of a fundraising effort that helped Forde to raise more money in the fourth quarter of 2017 than any other candidate in the race.
Forde has been outspoken in his desire to see government strike the right balance between consumer protection and regulatory flexibility, to ensure that draconian regulations don’t force the nascent industry to migrate to another country that offers a more welcoming environment:
“You have to protect consumer rights and consumer safety. But we also need to allow for innovation. You want to create ‘regulatory sandboxes’ for these emerging technologies to grow. My concern is that when you apply strict regulations to small startups, they’ll be forced to apply so many resources to compliance that they won’t have the resources to build and innovate.”