Fat cheques and grants play a significant role in swaying US politics and elections. It has been a tradition for the wealthy few to dish out funds to voters so that they could vote in favour of their presidential candidates. As expected, the donors always get rewarded with ambassador posts once their preferred candidate wins. This creates a government where only the voice of the minority wealthy is heard while the poor majority have no say. Bill Warren has taken the initiative to change this narrative with his app known as ‘We the peeps’.
Together with a group of blockchain developers at peeps democracy, they are developing a decentralized application that can be used in campaigns. Warren believes that blockchain combined with crowdfunding and crypto incentives will give voice to small donors that are often neglected in US politics.
We the peeps will be used as a fundraising platform for ordinary US voters, the app then allows the donors to vote on which candidate the funds should go to. Upon completion of the voting and collection of funds, Democracy Engine, which is a third-party payment processor distributes the funds to the respective candidates.
“the platform will allow ordinary people to raise money around issues or causes and then vote on where it goes,” says Warren, the company’s CEO.
We the peeps will use an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency known as peeps, which is issued to users once they sign up on the platform. Users can use the peeps tokens to carry out various activities on the application, e.g. starting a crowdfunding campaign. It is important to note that the We the peeps platform is not only meant for US politics; it can also be used for other things like climatic campaigns.
Users who start campaigns that gain popularity and pull large funds are rewarded with more peeps, which gives them more influence on the network.
It is important to understand that this platform will not launch as a fully decentralized platform; there are policies in place that are meant to avert posting of any inappropriate content on the website. However, the team hopes to move towards a fully decentralized platform where users have total say on the issue on the platform, and probably that will give small donors in the US the influence they need in governments.
The platform comes up around the same time when Elizabeth Warren announced that she would not reward any big donors with Ambassador posts if she wins the presidential elections. There has been a buzz around such practices like in the case with Kelly Craft, who is the US ambassador to Canada and Trump’s nominee for the post of US ambassador to the UN. Kelly was grilled on her vetting for being away from Ottawa for almost half the time she was supposed to be there.
Will this invention make the much difference needed in US elections, we will have to wait and see?