US politicians are slowly embracing the virtual currency revolution as it was confirmed that the group can now accept political donations that are made by bitcoin.
A decision by the Federal Election Commission means that politicians and political action committees [Pacs] can accept bitcoin and they will be treated much like other “in-kind donations” including stocks and shares.
Any group or individual that accepts donations in bitcoins has to convert it into US dollars, deposit it into the campaign account and only then can the money donated be spent.
Bitcoin’s anonymous nature also won’t be taken advantage of because donors are required by law to provide a name, address and occupation when submitting a donation.
A Pac known as Make Your Laws [MYL] made the original request to be able to take donations in bitcoin and had also asked to be able to spend the bitcoins directly, something that the commission decided not to allow.
"The Commission concludes that MYL may accept bitcoins," the report said, according to The Guardian. "The Commission also concludes that MYL may purchase bitcoins, but MYL must sell the bitcoins it purchases and deposit the proceeds into its campaign depository before spending those funds. The Commission could not approve a response by the required four affirmative votes as to whether MYL may acquire goods and services with bitcoins it receives as contributions."
MYL’s specific request means that individuals or groups can only accept donations up to $100 [£60] as it decided to cap them at that amount and larger amounts that could reach the $2,600 [£1,539] limit for US candidates could be accepted at a later date.
The question of whether other virtual currencies could be accepted has also been left open and in future it could be that the likes of Dogecoin or Litecoin are also used to fund political donations.
Image Credit: Flickr (Duncan Rawlinson)