Every four years in November, about halfway through each presidential period, voters in the United States go to the polls to fill 36 state governor seats, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and about a third of the 100 Senate offices of the United States. Considered widely a referendum on a current president, mid-term elections often produce changes of power in Congress, especially if the head of the executive and his party are not particularly impressive at the beginning of the mandate.
This time, the Democrats were full of hopes of summoning a blue wave and breaking the Republican unified control of the government. While the Democratic Party managed to launch the House and increase the number of governors they control, some commentators have not yet been impressed by the wave. However, there was another notable wave: a group of pro-blockchain politicians who have recorded spectacular victories that will project them into high offices.
Many crypto-savvy people, when asked to quickly name a friendly American politician to blockchain from the top of their head, will surely remember Jared PolisThe name Polis, who was one of the finance pioneers of the Crypto campaign and who later co-founded and co-chaired the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, will assume the position of Governor of Colorado in January 2019 after defeating the treasurer Walker Stapleton during the mid-term electoral night. There is no doubt that Polis will actively pursue a pro-blockchain program, as one of the great promises of his campaign to establish Colorado as a national hub for blockchain innovation in the business and government world.
Its five-pole plan provides for the implementation of DLP (distributed ledger technology) to improve the infrastructure and security of the elections; exempting cryptocurrencies from money transmission laws and establishing the legal status of utility tokens; explore blockchain-based solutions to optimize energy distribution and consumption; digitize government registers and transfer them to public registers; create a blockchain council to work in coordination with the office of the state of economic development and international trade. Polis is ready to consider the cryptic state of Wyoming as a mold for many of its policies.
On 20 May 2014, Gavin Newsom, then a lieutenant governor of California and a former mayor of San Francisco, while he was campaigning for re-election, he tweeted then US representative Jared Polis to follow his example and welcome the contributions of BTC. This marked Newsom's entry into the ranks of the first "bitcoiners" in the highest section of US policy.
– Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) May 20, 2014
That mid-term season, both Newsom and Polis won their respective tenders to keep the offices occupied. Four years later, they are both victorious again, this time becoming governors of their states for the first time. Newsom overtook his Republican opponent John Cox with a comfortable margin of 57-43.
While not openly a supporter of the blockchain like Polis, the new Californian governor-elect is considered crypto-friendly not only for his embrace of the Bitcoin campaign contributions, but also for his general orientation to technology. In particular, Newsom spoke in favor of the digitization initiatives of the federal government. According to the technical sheet compiled by the Digital Asset Trade Association support group, Gavin Newsom is generally in favor of policies that attract blockchain startups in the state, favoring the recognition of the legal status of encrypted transactions and positively considers the idea of creating a state block-block committee or task force. Given California's stature as an economic and technological power, even the relatively modest evidence of the new pro-blockchain's potential pro-blockchain orientation is great news for the industry.
Lately, Wyoming has done big business with the blockchain, trying to increase the influx of technology startups in the Cowboy state. After the wave of a pro-crypt legislation promulgated this year by the state house, the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force has already presented the proposals for the legislative session of 2019, which seem to bring the trend even further. State treasurer Mark Gordon, who was elected last Tuesday to serve as the 33rd governor of Wyoming, appears to fully embrace the emerging Wyoming leadership in the industry. In the DATA scorecard, all eleven boxes representing various dimensions of crypto-cordiality are checked against its name.
Two other governors who are usually considered pro-blockchain have secured their offices for the next term. Governor of Texas Greg Abbott, which first opened its coffers to contributions encrypted in the 2014 campaign, won its second term, led by the democratic contender Lupe Valdez. In the election of Rhode Island, according to the scores of the Digital Asset Trade Association, the blockchain community was destined to win regardless of the outcome, since both major candidates were on top of the blockchain's friendliness. incumbent Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, supported Allan Fung's competition to secure another two years in the office.
United States Congress
The Blockchain caucus of the Congress is a bi-partisan group of Congressmen who appreciate the enormous potential of blockchain technology and work to promote hands-off legislation that would allow for dynamic growth in the industry. The Caucus also aspires to be a platform for the public and private sectors to meet and discuss both the implications of technology and policies around it. The group was founded in 2016 by Jared Polis and Mick Mulvaney, who has since left the Assembly to head the White House's management and budget office.
Of course, Jared Polis will miss the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. Yet his departure from the Congress hardly gutted the group. In the midterms accumulation, the Caucus saw two prominent members, Tom Emmer and Bill Foster, elevated to co-chair positions alongside Polis and his Confederate historian David Schweikert. Emmer has been particularly enterprising in recent months, announcing a series of invoices designed to facilitate the development and adoption of blockchain technology and digital currencies. The leadership Blockchain Caucus seems to be willing and prepared to continue pushing the cryptic agenda nationwide.
Electurally, the Caucus did exceptionally well in the midterms: both co-presidents and 10 out of 12 regular members who lined up for re-election maintained their posts. Here is the overview:
David Schweikert, the co-president of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, is the Republican representative of the 6th congressional district of Arizona since 2011. In this election he defeated his Democratic opponent Anita Malik by a margin of 12.8%.
Tom Emmer, a Republican, represents the sixth district of Minnesota since 2015. Last Tuesday he beat Democrat Ian Todd by 22.4 percent of the popular vote.
Bill Foster he was the Democratic representative from the 11th congressional district of Illinois since 2013. He defeated the Republican Nick Stella by 27.2 percent of the vote.
Stephen Lynch he was the Democratic representative from the 8th district of Massachusetts for 17 years, since 2001. Originally from South Boston, he emerged victorious in the Democratic primaries in September and was not challenged in the general election.
Michael McCaul is the Republican of the 10th congressional district of Texas. Former Texas Attorney General, he has represented the district for 13 years. In the current elections, he has succeeded in rejecting the democratic contender, Mike Siegel, by 4 percent of the vote.
Denny Heck, a Democrat of the 10th District of Washington has served in his position for the past 5 years. Republican Joseph Brumbles defeated by a 22.6% safe margin.
Tony Cardenas he was the Democratic representative from the 29th congressional district of California since 2013. In the general election of 6 November, he defeated the Republican Benito Bernal with a staggering 58.4 percent of the votes.
Jerry McNerney, a Democrat of the 9th District of California, has been at the Congress since 2007. On the night of 6 November, he defeated the Republican Maria Livengood very closely.
Mark Meadows, a Republican member of the US House since 2013, represents the eleventh congressional district of North Carolina. On the night of the general elections in the medium term, he got 20 percent more than the popular vote compared to his democratic opponent Philip Price.
Darren Soto has been Democratic representative since the 9th Florida congress district since 2017. He won the November 6 general election against Republican Wayne Liebnitzky with a 15.6% margin.
Jeff Duncan is the Republican representative of the 3rd congressional district of South Carolina, who has served in the United States House since 2011. He defeated the democratic Mary Green of 35.6 of the votes in the general election.
Tom MacArtur, the Republican representative of the 3rd district of New Jersey, ran against the Democrat Andy Kim in a dramatically tight race. Several days after the elections, the results were still pending, with the race too close to the call. Starting on November 11, Kim seems to be leading by 1.1 percentage points, although the results have not been officially announced.
John Larson A Democrat from Connecticut's first congressional district has been in office for 19 years. In the mid-term general elections, he defeated Republican challenger Jennifer Nye by 28.4 percentage points.
Greg Gianforte, which represents Montana's At-large district since 2017, won 5.1 percent of the vote against Democrat Kathleen Williams.
Two of the current members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus announced before the seminar that they would not seek re-election for the next term. Democratic John Delaney from the 6th congressional district of Maryland revealed its plans to run for president in 2020 while Bob Goodlatte, the Republican veteran of the House representing Virginia's 6th district since 1993, has cited his willingness to spend more time with his grandchildren.
The only member of Caucus who had definitely lost in the current election was Keith Rothfus, the Republican representative of the 17th District of Pennsylvania. After serving in the Chamber since 2013, he was defeated by the Democratic challenger, Conor Lamb, with 12.4% of the votes.
Since all 435 seats in the Chamber were ready for re-election, the Congressional Blockchain Caucus's performance seems truly impressive. While the Caucus retains its main membership in the coming Congress, there seems to be room for expansion as well. The seminars have seen for the first time many new faces that join the legislature, and there is the possibility that at least some of them share the vision of the future fueled by the blockchain that inspires this diverse group of legislators to work together.
The election forecasts must be decentralized
Yet another noteworthy result of the mid-term elections is not directly related to the cast of ballot papers and filled offices. Although the rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) explicitly prohibit bets on election results, there are several platforms that allow US bettors to do so without violating the law. PredictIt, a centralized forecasting market that relies on its academic affiliations to get exemption from the CFTC regulation, has dominated space in recent years. However, this PredictIt election cycle suddenly faced fierce competition from the decentralized side of Augur, a blockchain-based forecasting market. While the CFTC is still reflecting on possible regulatory approaches to decentralized prediction protocols, Augur users take full advantage of their infrastructure.
Reports suggest that the total amount of money bet on the results of these midterers has exceeded $ 2 million, compared to the $ 550,000 of PredictIt. To be fair, the rules of the centralized forecasting platform strictly limit bets at the limit of $ 850 per user per market, while Augur bettors are limited only by the amount of ETH they are ready to risk. Therefore, there can be no implications regarding the relative popularity of the two platforms at the moment. Furthermore, there is some evidence that only two people were responsible for a huge share of the overall trading volume. Despite all these reservations, Augur has demonstrated its ability to successfully manage trading volumes comparable to those of its centralized counterparts, while the overall number of bets has shown an increasing use of the platform.