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We caught up with Faruk Okcetin to talk about why he is doing this and what it means.
You have decided to put your pledges in the blockchain. What does that mean?
It means that I am putting out my commitments to the constituents whom I will represent on where I stand on important issues. This gives them the ability to fully understand my platform. More importantly, unlike placing such pledges in a brochure or website, these are my commitments for the entire world to see.
Because of the immutability of Blockchain, I cannot flip flop on issues, saying one thing one day, and claim another the next; something citizens are sick and tired of when it comes to politicians.
Why have you done this?
For me, I want to practice what I preach. I have tremendous disdain for politicians who lie only to get into office and, once they have gotten into office, pursue different policies.
If all politicians placed their pledges on the Blockchain, citizens would have the means to truly hold elected officials accountable; particularly if they changed their position on an issue.
I merely wanted to give citizens and politicians alike an opportunity to come clean in declaring their position on important issues such as term limits, and being held to it, by an ever-expanding pool of aware and informed voters.
You are one of the founders of Cryptolina, a blockchain conference in North Carolina. How did you get involved in blockchain?
It has been an amazing experience helping to launch, and participate in, the Cryptolina Conferences.
I became involved, after a conversation with a good friend and colleague, Dan Spuller, who is another co-founder of Cryptolina, on how we can bring awareness to Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, within our own community.
As an entrepreneur, I recognized that this technology could help other technologies be more functional and that I wanted North Carolina to be at the forefront of innovations which were sure to happen in this space.
As such, we set out to build what has become one of the longest running, and respected Conferences globally, welcoming thousands of amazing innovators to our State.
There are many use cases for blockchain, and now also political pledges. What are some of your favorite use cases for blockchain, current ones, or something in the future?
I look forward to the day that Blockchain, coupled with other technologies, like AI and biometrics, will give the citizens of the world a chance to vote freely, safely, securely, and accurately.
It was one of my earliest motivations in getting involved with Blockchain, that this technology can eliminate fraud, while ensuring that everyone has equal access to vote, a privilege of free societies.
I am also working on a project, which will take what I have done personally in placing my campaign pledges on the blockchain, but will allow other politicians, corporate officers, board members and elected leaders, to place their pledges, policy goals, affirmations, and other important matters on the blockchain, to ensure that they are held accountable.
You run for county commissioner in Wake County in Raleigh, North Carolina. How do you think the government should use blockchain in your county?
The easiest and most near-term scenario I believe that is feasible is that County taxes, and other collections for utilities, etc., can be collected using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
In the longer term, there are many applications for Municipal, County, and State governments, in and around making government and its agencies more efficient. The County Registrar of Deeds for example, can use Blockchain networks, to record deed information, allowing more accurate and faster processing of changes to how deeds are held.
Secretaries of State can use Blockchain to make tracking of business records, closures, and openings, easier and faster. County governments can place budget plans and development project details on the blockchain to keep themselves accountable to the citizens.
State Pensions can better diversify by investing pension funds in Crypto. Departments of Health can use Blockchain to track more accurately, response protocols to pandemics like Covid-19.
It is a very long list of potential improvements Blockchain can offer. We are still very much at the front end of how this technology can be applied and used.
Tell us a little bit about who you are and why you are running in this election.
I am an immigrant who came to the United States when I was 8.
After getting a business degree, I have been involved in several different businesses from restaurants, real-estate, biometrics, and medical devices.
I appreciate innovative and disruptive technologies and believe that there are always more efficient and effective ways to reach a positive outcome, as long as you are willing to look for it.
I am the father of a wonderful 8-year-old Elara, and engaged to be married to Christine Judge, the love of my life.
I am a dedicated family man. I am running for office because I believe I love my community, and North Carolina, and want to preserve and protect a high quality of life for our citizens.
I will bring transparency, and accountability to the Wake County Board of Commissioners.