ELECTION 2014 | OAKLAND | MAYOR | A growing number of businesses and even some countries are beginning to recognize the power of the digital currency Bitcoin. Now, add Oakland mayoral candidate Bryan Parker to the list of early adopters.
In a press release subtitled, “Someone in government who actually wants your Bitcoin,” Parker announced a fundraiser hosted in Los Angeles by the co-founder of Go Coin, a payment processing company that focuses on transactions involving Bitcoin. Parker says he believes Bitcoin can help foster social change in Oakland.
“Bitcoin is a tool we can use to dissolve inequality, be it social or economic, and facilitate change for whole communities,” said Parker, also a Port of Oakland commissioner. “I see the role of technology as solving real world problems, like job creation, in lasting ways, such as providing merchants cost-effective gateways into e-commerce and online markets.”
This is not Parker’s first foray into cutting edge forms of campaign fundraising. Last June, he used crowdsourcing to raise over $23,000 in less than 24 hours. Parker’s pitch on the Web site, Crowdtilt, ultimately raised $59,727 by July 1, surpassing the campaign's goal of $50,000.
Bitcoin’s growing acceptance made news last week, when the NBA’s Sacramento Kings announced they would accept the virtual currency as payment. In addition, the German government has recognized Bitcoin as "private money" and the United Kingdom may study a similar option.
Parker is in a field of challengers hoping to unseat Mayor Jean Quan that include, Councilmember Libby Schaaf, university professor Joe Tuman, civil right attorney Dan Siegel and businessman Patrick McCullogh.