What can you buy with cryptocurrency? An election, apparently. The recent article about Carrick Flynn, out-of-nowhere candidate for the Democratic nomination in Oregon’s new 6th Congressional District (“Who is Carrick Flynn, the electoral novice from smalltown Oregon who’s drawn $6 million for his run for Congress?,” April 15), touches lightly on the $5 million in funding from an Arizona crypto billionaire’s PAC. That money has bought the glossy, high-frequency TV ads that have swamped the voices from other candidates in the race.
Flynn’s “aw, shucks” response to this bounty is not to be believed. In the race’s strong Democratic field, the Democratic Party didn’t need another primary candidate. More credible are the wide reports that crypto billionaires are pouring money into political races to ensure that legislatures enact only crypto-friendly regulations. Research done at Flynn’s most recent employer focuses on the cryptographic technologies facing regulation; it’s hard to believe such a bright guy knows nothing about it.
Opinions about cryptocurrency are mixed. But the amount of money and self-interest involved is undeniably vast, as is the potential to disrupt financial and monetary systems worldwide. If we let crypto billionaires pick the legislators and write the laws, we could find ourselves with crypto oligarchs or an unstable financial system. Pretty ads are no substitute for experience, integrity, and transparency. Flynn has not earned anyone’s vote.
Kathleen Pool, Portland