Nikki Fried’s Campaign to Accept Crypto, Money Laundering Questions Raised


Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) announced on Twitter that her political committee for governor now accepts cryptocurrency as a contribution to the campaign. Fried made the announcement by a video posted to social media.

“The financial system isn’t working for us, we are working for it,” Fried tweeted. “That’s why #CryptoCurrency and the democratization of money should be a priority for government. To push that forward, my political committee is now taking #crypto!”

In the video, Fried dubbed herself a “capitalist” and said “the democratization of our monetary system should be a priority for our state government.”

The agriculture commissioner received a lot of backlash from social media followers making the claim that cryptocurrency is often used to launder money. In 2018, the blockchain and cryptocurrency security firm, CipherTrace, noted that approximately $1.2 billion was laundered through crypto tools.

To provide clarification, Fried posted a follow-up tweet saying that indicated she would support increased government regulation to make crypto more reliable.

“Saw the negativity about crypto. I hear you & I’m listening,” Fried tweeted. “Crypto is already a thing. Government can make it better/regulate, especially environmentally, & help expand access to capital. But most importantly, I’m open to your ideas & feedback. That’s how I’ll govern, too.”

Fried continued her announcement by railing against big banks like Wells Fargo. Fried said her political committee was shut down in 2018 after she announced her support for marijuana legalization.

Florida Consumers First, Fried’s political committee, has been struggling with raising money and trails incumbent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) by tens of millions of dollars. The move would provide donors with an alternate method of donating to her gubernatorial bid to try and make up the difference.

In November, campaign finance reports showed DeSantis had a political war chest of nearly $63 million, and followed it up with another month of $4.5 million raised. In the same month, Fried only raised $216,000.

The political committee’s treasurer, Ben Kuehne, said the future of crypto is part of a 21st-century movement.

“By building a forward-looking, 21st-century movement, we are giving our grassroots donors and others who feel abandoned by our corrupt political finance system a chance to participate in our mission,” said Kuehne. “People who believe in Nikki Fried’s expansive message of putting Florida consumers first can fully embrace our movement by contributing through cryptocurrency from our website.”

Fried also said that her desire is for Floridians to be able to make their own decisions and to “save our democracy.”

“To show you how serious I am, my political committee, Florida Consumers First, is now accepting cryptocurrency because I trust you to make your own decisions,” Fried said. “And I want you to be part of this movement to get power back to the people and save our democracy.”

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Nikki Fried” by Nikki Fried.





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