- The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) is set to become the world’s first political party to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for fundraising in a presidential election.
- DPK will send non-interchangeable digital images featuring Lee’s photos and policies to his supporters who donate their money to his election campaign.
- The National Election Commission (NEC) confirmed last month that fundraising using NFTs does not violate the Political Funds Act or the Public Official Election Act.
According to DPK presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung’s campaign committee, the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) is set to become the world’s first political party to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for fundraising in a presidential election.
Starting this month, the DPK will send non-interchangeable digital images featuring Lee’s photos and policies to his supporters who donate their money to his election campaign. The party explained that its NFTs will act as a type of bond, allowing holders to trade digital assets with other people.
The election campaign committee’s latest fundraising strategy follows the recent DPK lawmaker Lee Kwang-jae’s announcement on Thursday that he will start accepting cryptocurrency donations sometime in mid-January and issue receipts for donations in the form of NFTs. The lawmaker said in a press conference at the National Assembly that “Our presidential candidate is also preparing for fundraising using NFTs”.
The DPK emphasized that the National Election Commission (NEC) confirmed last month that fundraising using NFTs does not violate the Political Funds Act or the Public Official Election Act. Rep. Lee said that “Over the past eight months, we have discussed this matter with the NEC and other government institutions. The donations will be managed in compliance with the Public Official Election Act and the Guidelines on Management of Political Funds.”
The DPK has been pushing for ways to accept donations in cryptocurrency and issue NFT receipts to highlight its future technology direction and woo millennial voters as the tokens could hold future value worthy of financial investment for donors one day. According to party officials, if Lee raises political funds through the digital platform, he will become the world’s first presidential candidate to issue an NFT for campaign finances.
Former Minister of SMEs and Startups Park Young-sun, who is in charge of digitalization policies at the DPK’s election campaign committee gave momentum to the party’s virtual asset-friendly policies by issuing an NFT associated with her Facebook message written in 2018, in which she opposed the shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges. She wrote on Facebook that “My first NFT was sold Jan. 1 to an anonymous buyer for 2,000 Klay, which is about 3 million won ($2,500)”.
Park sent out another NFT, this time with a caricature of herself and a New Year’s message. Next week, the former minister will meet with representatives from gaming companies, as well as Rep. Lee, to discuss measures to boost the nation’s game industry through the use of NFTs.
The DPK’s presidential candidate has remained supportive of the game industry’s efforts to use NFTs as part of efforts to win the hearts of young voters in their 20s and 30s. He stated last month in an interview with a gaming YouTuber that Korea should lead the global trend of integrating games with virtual assets and NFTs. He said that “If we deny what actually exists, it will be similar to an isolationist foreign policy”.