An Upstate New York town supervisor is not afraid to show how he feels about the Covid-19 vaccine — and potentially make a profit at the same time.
The Daily Gazette reports Benny Goldstein, a Republican who was sworn in as the town of Canajoharie’s new supervisor on Monday, created a cryptocurrency protesting vaccine mandates called “FucVax.” He said he spent $20,000 of his own money developing the coin during his campaign as a form of digital protest, inspired by former President Donald Trump to choose the bold name.
“The government is forcing people to take the vaccine,” Goldstein told the newspaper. “I experienced this firsthand when our close friends were getting laid off from their jobs just because they chose not to get vaccinated. This is a matter of pro-choice. I believe what goes inside our bodies is predominantly our choice.”
Goldstein, who said he is vaccinated but not boosted, is an attorney and entrepreneur originally from Israel who works in real estate management in the U.S. He said he plans to donate 10% of all profits he makes from crypto sales towards legal fees fighting vaccine mandates; he originally intended FucVax to be a fundraiser for the town, donating 5% of proceeds to the town of Canajoharie, but said he has not been able to get state or town approval.
Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and dogecoin, are seen as a volatile, decentralized digital currency often treated as a commodity, like gold, with few places accepting it as payment in exchange for goods or services. They’re powered by a combination of peer-to-peer technology and software-driven cryptography to create a currency backed by code.
According to the Daily Gazette, Goldstein initially created 7.19 billion FucVax ERC-20 digital tokens, making 200,000 tokens, with a value of one penny each, available through its father coin, Avalanche. He said each token is now valued at $0.24 and 147 people currently hold FucVax coins, including Canajoharie residents.
“It’s kind of like a silent protest,” one Montgomery County resident, who bought $500 worth of FucVax, told the Gazette. “I wanted to purchase some to basically say hold off on these mandates.”
The Canajoharie supervisor is a four-year position that pays a stipend of $6,814.
Montgomery County, where Canajoharie is located, has seen a surge in Covid-19 amid the omicron variant. According to the CDC, the county has reported 454 Covid cases in the past week, a 210% increase, and a 21% positivity rate in tests over the past seven days.
Less than 64% of Montgomery County’s 49,000 residents are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Seventy-two percent of New York state residents are fully vaccinated.