In what is either an incredible blockchain-enabled monetization opportunity or a sign that perhaps the gears are finally starting to fall out of this thing, Republican politician, failed presidential candidate, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is a cryptocurrency guy now.
Yes, per the Financial Times’ Alphaville blog, Santorum—who you may remember for his virulent homophobia and the resulting campaign to use his name as slang for a byproduct of anal sex—is on the advisory board of religious-themed company Cathio, which is planning on launching a variety of cryptocurrency called a stablecoin. Cathio bills itself as providing “Catholic organizations with a payments platform that aligns with Catholic values, provides the tools necessary to increase donations and connect with both local and global Catholic communities.” It’s also a “turnkey solution for Catholic organizations to bring their financial transactions into alignment with their beliefs,” apparently.
As Alphaville noted, Santorum’s son-in-law, Matthew Marcolini, is the company’s CEO, which perhaps explains some of this. A former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Jim Nicholson, former U.S. Mint chief turned “bitcoin IRA” guy Ed Moy, and ICOx Innovations chairman Cameron Chell (architect of the infamous “Kodakcoin” situation) have all signed on with Cathio as well.
According to Alphaville, Cathio is billing itself as a new way for the Catholic Church and affiliated institutions to accept donations; when Alphaville pointed out that it sounds like Venmo, Marcolini acknowledged to the blog that comparison, but said those institutions do not take Venmo.
Beyond that, Marcolini touted that Cathio’s use of blockchain technology could bring “permissioned visibility” to the church “so the faithful can begin to ask where the money’s come from.” As Alphaville noted, this is just one of several ways in which Cathio appears to contradict biblical teachings:
Cathio is a for-profit company that plans to charge a transaction fee for donations — a “very minimal fee” of close to 2 per cent — and its advisory-board-members all own shares in the company (we weren’t told how many shares each adviser was allocated, but Santorum is being given a “few more shares” than others because he was helping with the company’s fundraising).
Apart from the contradictions between keeping donations anonymous—as per the teachings of the New Testament—and being able to “ask where the money’s come from”, there’s also the issue of usury (ie the lender making interest, which is effectively what charging a fee on a stablecoin transaction amounts to).
Sounds like this is all going swell, a