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Currency for Congress: Shrina Kurani to Launch NFTs as Part of Her Run for U.S. House of Representatives

Currency for Congress: Shrina Kurani to Launch NFTs as Part of Her Run for U.S. House of Representatives

  • The 28-year-old engineer and entrepreneur will publish 2,022 non-fungible tokens (NFT) on the Solana blockchain as part of her election campaign in California's 42nd District.

Shrina Kurani, a 28-year-old Indian American engineer and entrepreneur who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives seat from California’s 42nd Congressional District, is seeking to engage the crypto community on legislative issues. The young Democrat will publish 2,022 non-fungible tokens (NFT) on the Solana blockchain as part of her election campaign. 

Kurani, who is looking to flip the district, is challenging 15-term Republican incumbent Ken Calvert for the 2022 midterm elections. The 42nd Congressional District includes Eastvale, Corona, Norco, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Menifee, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, and part of Temecula. 

In a series of tweets, Kurani explained what NFT’s are and the reason why she’s advocating for cryptocurrencies. She also shared her article on Medium on why she’s advocating for web3 as well as a YouTube video on NFT, which is “A great primer.”

In a post on Medium, Kurani writes that she’s “always been interested in how we can make things work better.” From her work as an engineer “helping companies transition from fossil fuels to building a company democratizing access to funding,” she had dedicated her career “to building a better future.” Noting that there’s “an opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation by supporting emerging technologies and bringing more and more people into the fold,,” she writes that “we must responsibly build and invest in 21st century digital services to continue our journey in transparency, efficiency, and access.” 

She told CoinDesk, a news site specializing in bitcoin and digital currencies, that “there’s a lot of misunderstanding in terms of what crypto is, what crypto can be, the direction that it’s going in, who it serves.” She said she believes “there’s a way for us to be able to build more of a bridge between policymakers and folks in the space to be able to actually have more of a conversation, and that, I think, brings me to my second goal, which is actually engaging the crypto community to be able to participate in the future of crypto legislation.” The NFTs would be part of a broader push, Kurani told CoinDesk, saying her campaign could also use tools like Discord to engage a community.

“When you’re talking about the future of technology, there’s always going to be a footprint, right? Using Google, [using] email, using any form of technology, plugging into a wall outlet uses energy, right? And it depends on where the energy is being sourced from how efficient those processes are,” she said. 

If she is elected, she told CoinDesk that she sees t”ax and accounting rules as two areas that can easily be addressed with new legislation. “I think clarity is something that helps everyone across the board, to help regulators and to help the participants,” she said. “I think there’s sort of a baseline low-hanging fruit that we can help everyone in the space be able to participate in a compliant way that doesn’t add an onerous amount of regulatory overhead that we might be seeing.”

She also does not see cryptocurrency regulation as being a partisan issue. The issue will “affect everyone,” and it will require lawmakers from both major political parties to address “We’re thinking about the next generation of the internet as participatory and inclusive, where this type of unit user ownership can actually promote financial inclusion, where we can have enhanced transparency across the board.” She said the NFT launch is also to “really educate the American population on blockchain and to continue building that bridge between crypto and politics, to engage the community, and yes, help us get to Congress and we can actually have more [crypto]-literate candidates.”

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Kurani announced her run for the U.S. Congress in July. In a video announcing the launch of her campaign, the Riverside, California native talked about her immigrant parents and her reasons for running for the U.S. Congress. “As a first-generation Indian American, my family worked together to build a successful pool supply business right here in the Inland Empire,” she says in the video posted on her website. “My parents didn’t take a single day off in 10 years but even that level of hustle isn’t enough these days,” she says, adding, “Opportunities are out of reach for far too many people.” July 

Noting that she’s spent her career “building businesses that reduce waste and create quality jobs and solving problems,” Kurani said she’s running for office “to make things work better in Washington. To develop a sustainable future and build an Inland Empire where people feel safe, healthy, and have opportunities to succeed in fulfilling jobs.”

According to her website, Kurani “learned the values of hard work, hustle, and resourcefulness from her parents while they worked seven days a week, with a young Shrina and her brother helping after school and in the summers.” That’s when the seed of entrepreneurship was planted for her as she saw her parents “work together to grow the business to over 14 locations throughout the Inland Empire.” Her mother managed the accounting and her father oversaw the employee. Additionally, he engaged in the local community through the Chamber of Commerce and as a planning commissioner.

She graduated from La Sierra High School at the age of 16 and earned her degree in mechanical engineering from UC Riverside. She has also served as an advisor to start-up businesses Most recently, she has been building a company to increase opportunities “by focusing on addressing disparities in the funding of startup businesses founded by women and people of color, an effort that has facilitated $2 million in capital to the Inland Empire and over $300 million across the nation,” according to her website. 

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