Move over, Andrew Yang. There’s a new crypto candidate vying for the White House.

Miami Mayor and cryptocurrency enthusiast Francis Suarez — who already takes his salary in Bitcoin — is now accepting campaign donations for his 2024 bid in the form of cryptocurrency.

Suarez announced the new fundraising effort Friday during an interview with CoinDesk, an online news site covering bitcoin and digital currencies.

“Officially, my campaign is accepting bitcoin,” Suarez said. “This is a process of developing technologies that are going to create democratizing opportunities for wealth creation and are not manipulated by a human being’s alternative motives, political goals, et cetera.”

The longshot Republican hopeful has tied his political brand to crypto since he swept into office in 2017, promising to turn the Florida city into the “crypto capital.” Last year, he unveiled the “Miami bull” statue — a futuristic adaptation of the iconic Wall Street sculpture — to mark the start of the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami.

“Cryptocurrency is the future and it’s here to stay—America’s next president must lean into this generational opportunity, not shy away,” Suarez posted on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, on Friday. “If you agree, donate just $1 in Bitcoin, and I’ll send you a ‘Vote Bitcoin’ t-shirt, on me.”

The move is just the latest alternative fundraising tactic Suarez has turned to as he creeps toward the RNC’s requirement for candidates to collect 40,000 donors (with 200 unique donors in 20 different states) to earn a spot on the August debate stage. His campaign recently began offering $20 gift cards in exchange for donations of as little as $1, and previously offered supporters a chance to join a raffle for tickets to see soccer star Lionel Messi’s first game with the Florida team Inter Miami.

Donors are not the only debate requirement Suarez still needs to meet; the Miami mayor will also have to poll at 1 percent in a handful of polls to meet the RNC’s strict criteria. So far, seven candidates have qualified for the first debate: former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

Leave a Reply