The Federal Election Commission (FEC), which regulates campaign finance legislation, has approved Bitcoin for political donations after months of debate.
There are several conditions though: no anonymous donations, donations must be scrutinized for “evidence of legality”, and a possibility of limitations on donation size. Debate is still ongoing if donations should be capped at $100 worth per contributor per election. This is the current cap for cash contributions in federal campaigns. One Republican has argued that these should be viewed as “in-kind” donations, comparable to contributions of securities or art, which have no cap. Based on the latest IRS ruling considering Bitcoin property and not currency, he’s technically right.
Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado and staunch Bitcoin supporter, lauded the FEC for its “forward-looking stance” in recognizing “the rights of individuals seeking alternatives to government-backed currencies to participate in our democratic political process.” He announced that he would immediately begin accepting Bitcoin for donations.
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Two months ago, Polis satirically called for a ban on physical dollars, and urged regulators to “prohibit this dangerous currency” from harming hard-working Americans. The comments were a jab at Senator Joe Manchin III who used the same words in reference to Bitcoin in a letter calling for it to be banned.
Also hailing from Colorado is the “Libertarian Party”, which was formed in 1971 and currently has over 330,000 voters registered. They began accepting Bitcoin a year ago, forgoing the formalities of regulatory approval. They collected $10,000 worth in donations.
Texas’ Republican attorney general Greg Abbott announced last month that he’d accept Bitcoin donations- at a state level. Congressman Steve Stockman, also a Texas Republican, already accepted bitcoins last year in his bid for the Senate. Last month, he showed up to the New York City Bitcoin Center with a draft bill calling for a reversal to the IRS’ ruling. The state has become one of the most Bitcoin-friendly places around, hosting several Bitcoin ATM’s and the site of a major conference in March.