Bitcoin advocate Bruce Fenton has announced his candidacy for the US Senate. Fenton will represent the State of New Hampshire in Congress if elected.
Fenton has worked full-time in the Bitcoin and digital securities industries since 2013. He owns a majority stake in SEC-registered broker-dealer Watchdog Capital (he describes himself as a “cypherpunk stockbroker” on Twitter).
As for politics, Fenton has:
- announced a Republican platform of smaller government, free-market competition, and an emphasis on personal liberties,
- criticized the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, calling it a series of “abuses,”
- and proposed improving securities regulation to allow more voluntary interactions between companies and consumers.
“I will not stand by while my country and our values are destroyed by politicians in Washington DC,” tweeted Fenton earlier this week.
“We must build a future based on liberty, peace, sound money, human rights and voluntary interaction.”
Bruce Fenton says it’s time for the Bitcoin standard
Before Bitcoin, Fenton enjoyed a successful career in investment banking that included a 1990s stint as a vice president at Morgan Stanley. He also spent 13 years as a managing director for consulting outfit Atlantis Consulting.
Satoshi Roundtable, Fenton’s in-person destination event, features high-profile Bitcoin professionals, developers, CEOs, and investors.
Indeed, Fenton is today unambiguously Bitcoin-only, despite his multi-coin past.
On Twitter, Fenton has already hinted at his top economic priority. He proposed a type of “Bitcoin standard” for the US dollar, likening a Bitcoin standard to historical gold-backed fiat standards.
Many consider Fenton to be a Bitcoin maximalist. However, he promoted and authored the whitepaper for open source cryptocurrency Ravencoin (RVN), once owning over 10 million RVN ($705,000).
- Ravencoin bills itself as a blockchain on which individuals can trade digital tokens representing ownership of assets like securities, gold bars, or land deeds.
- A development team that included Fenton announced Ravencoin in late 2017, and released the binaries in June the following year.
- Ravencoin claims its inception involved no pre-mine, initial coin offering, or masternodes, qualifying it as a so-called “fair launch.”
Nevertheless, critics complained that Fenton and other Ravencoin insiders quietly mined RVN before prominently disclosing their project, effectively earning them a substantial headstart over the general public.
The network uses an ASIC-resistant Proof-of-Work algorithm called KAWPOW to combat possible 51% attacks.
However, this algorithm has not provided perfect security. In June 2020, for example, hackers exploited a flaw in Ravencoin’s protocol and instantly minted 315 million RVN ($63 million then, $22 million today) for free.
Bitcoin maximalist-leaning critics and Twitter trolls have called Fenton names, like “scamcoiner.” He categorically denied compensation nor allocations of RVN for promoting the project. He also said he did not conduct a fundraise for Ravencoin.
Responding to the Bitcoin maxis, Fenton described Ravencoin as merely a code fork that took nothing away from Bitcoin. In May 2018, he admitted that he owned 10 million RVN (worth around $450,000 then, $706,000 today).
It’s worth noting too that online retailer-slash-crypto fan Overstock, through its then-subsidiary tZero, reportedly invested millions of dollars in Ravencoin’s development.
Overstock chief technology officer Joel Wright and Overstock subsidiary Medici Ventures employee Tron Black co-authored Ravencoin’s original whitepaper alongside Fenton.
Ravencoin’s value jumped roughly 10% upon Fenton’s recent announcement of his candidacy for US Senate, although it has dropped since then.
Fenton will self-fund his early campaigning with Bitcoin
Fenton says he’ll tour New Hampshire in an RV and host a series of virtual events to support his Senate campaign. He also plans to set up Bitcoin donations so that crypto users can contribute.
Mostly, Fenton opposes onerous crypto-specific regulations. He has labeled a theoretical future central bank digital currency the same as fiat — just wrapped in a new package.
He’s also criticized the US response to economic crises like the 2008 recession, saying its policies made fiat currencies like the US dollar unsustainable in the long term.
According to a recent poll, just one-third of New Hampshire voters approve of incumbent Senator Maggie Hassen’s (a Democrat) performance, making her vulnerable to a challenger who can gain traction.
But considering that Fenton has only just announced his run, he now has less time to spread his message than many of this year’s candidates have had.
Still, his message could go over well with famously personal liberty-loving New Hampshire voters if he can turn enough heads by the primaries slated for September.