Cheddar has learned exclusively that Grammy-nominated musician and crypto entrepreneur Akon is endorsing bitcoin billionaire Brock Pierce for President of the United States, and will serve as chief strategist for Pierce 2020.
Pierce is a cryptocurrency entrepreneur who announced his run for the Oval Office in July, running as an independent. In 2018, Pierce made Forbes' first-ever list of wealthiest crypto investors in the world, and is a chairman of the nonprofit Bitcoin Foundation. Pierce is also a former child actor, known for his roles in The Mighty Ducks and the Disney original film First Kid.
Akon, whose full name is Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam, says of the endorsement, "I've always known Brock Pierce to be a standup guy. He's a real people's person and he doesn't operate between party lines. We share the same dream of pushing America forward for everyone without showing favoritism to one particular base."
The Don't Matter singer has invested heavily into the crypto space in recent years, recently founding his own digital currency called Akoin and founding Akon City, a "futuristic cryptocurrency themed city," in Senegal. Akon City features a massive investment in local infrastructure; according to bitcoin.com, the $6 billion project, "will include roads, a hospital, a mall, hotels, and a school. There will also be parks, universities, a stadium, and an industrial complex."
At the time of his campaign announcement, the Minnesota-born 39-year-old Pierce said, "Entrepreneurs are essential to the rebuilding of this nation that we love, and I'm running in this race because I know that together we can help build a pathway towards the rebirth of the America we love so much."
The campaign manager for Pierce 2020 is also a familiar face to many: Brittany Kaiser, who is best known from her role as a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower who helped sound the alarm about Facebook's complicity helping the Trump campaign in 2016. Kaiser told Cheddar of the Pierce White House run, "It's inspiring, and a breath of fresh air to have someone who has spent their life really understanding technology putting himself out there as the face of a presidential campaign…he not only understands how to improve and make systems more efficient, but also has a vision for a more inclusive political platform than what is currently being offered by the two big parties."
The Pierce ticket is rounded out by the addition of entrepreneur Karla Ballard for Vice President, who touts years of experience in brand development and corporate partnerships. Ballard said at the time, "My life's work has been devoted to finding solutions and bringing people together across all cultures and party lines and when Brock Pierce approached me to join his visionary campaign as his Vice President, I knew this was the next step I should take in this lifelong mission."
Pierce says in a statement about the Akon endorsement and campaign addition: "Not only is Akon one of the most well-known artists globally, he is a successful global businessman and philanthropist. I started my life as an artist so I have the utmost respect for culture and the arts -- without it we are lost. His aspirations to be in politics, to be in civil service, and what he has accomplished in Africa and beyond will be valuable for our platform on a regional, national, and world-wide level."
Kaiser was quick to note the strength of the Akon endorsement, and the artist's role in the campaign, adding, "Akon is an incredibly inspiring guy and he has so much energy. He's accomplished so much. It's an honor to have him with the team, with his track record of massive success in entertainment but also in entrepreneurship. He's a very important part of the team, especially as we dive into foreign policy issues."
The Brock Pierce campaign is currently on the ballot in eight states and Washington, DC, which is more than any other independent candidacy in 2020, with petitions to join the ballot in several more.