Former Democratic presidential and NYC mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, author of last year’s book Forward and founder of the new Forward Party (which is still at an embryonic stage), is getting into crypto.
The former CNN political commentator, who also hosts a twice weekly video podcast, is teaming up with his former campaign manager and current podcast co-host Zach Graumann to launch yet another new project — something called Lobby3.
“Purchasing a Lobby3 general membership token means you’ll be supporting proactive efforts to give the people a new voice on Capitol Hill,” says the Lobby3 website. “And you’ll be joining the group of like-minded thought-leaders, innovators, and Web3 enthusiasts who will have a front row seat to shaping a collective future that advances the positive economic impact of blockchain technology.”
Personally, I think the technology behind cryptocurrency, the blockchain and NFTs is mildly interesting… but vastly over-hyped at the current moment. Much of that hype comes from speculators who’ve gambled large sums of money on volatile currencies and potentially worthless assets (example: every single NFT minted to date).
And I was a fan of Yang during the presidential campaign, I saw him speak in New Hampshire and shook his hand afterward. I feel like his advocacy of Universal Basic Income was important, useful and impactful work.
But this project reeks of a cynical crypto-cash grab by Yang&Co to capitalize on their appeal with a certain type of millionaire futurist: “By building on the unique voice and influence of Andrew Yang and the Yang Gang, Lobby3 will help shape a decentralized economic future for all.”
Want to be part of the future?
You can purchase a “membership token” to this new project for around $220 worth of Ethereum (0.07 ETH), which entitles you to join a chat room and get updates on the group’s progress. Token holders also get “one vote on community issues, guest speakers, policy suggestions, and more.”
Getting to vote on guest speakers isn’t exciting enough? For around $3,000 (1 ETH) you can join at the Advocate level, which gives you more say in the direction of the organization, along with access to “VIP events” and “exclusive merch!”
For the truly serious, a mere 40 ETH (or about $120,000 in our worthless American dollars) gets you into the Founder tier where you can get “one-on-one access to Andrew Yang and the Lobby3 Team.” Plus various special, exclusive meetings and events. And you still get the “exclusive merch & NFTs” promised to tier 2 members. What a deal!
Meanwhile, the nascent Forward Party’s lone state affiliate appears to have half-way recruited one semi-serious candidate for statewide office in Minnesota.