The Federal Election Commission voted today 6 to 0 to allow political committees to accept limited Bitcoin donations. "Limited" means $100 worth of BTC or less. Still, this is a nice win for the Bitcoin community. Avid Bitcoiners like to support Bitcoin-friendly politicians with Bitcoins.
Back in November, the FEC deadlocked on this issue. Vice Chairman Lee Goodman said at the time, "I think we’ve been a little bit distracted by the novelty of Bitcoins. Although they represent a unique and new type of asset, they are an asset." Now, Goodman tells Dave Levinthal at the Center for Public Integrity that the FEC "has to keep up with technology."
According to Levinthal, who was at the FEC meeting today, a PAC that accepts BTC must "either sell its Bitcoins or disburse Bitcoins to purchase goods and services." Bitcoin donations will be considered in-kind donations, like stock or property. Most importantly, if the value of Bitcoin jumps after a donation is accepted, PACs can use those Bitcoins at market value.
This ruling probably won't have much of an effect on the midterms — Bitcoin use is still pretty limited. But one Politico is looking at the big picture for 2016.
Bitcoin users tend to be libertarians.
Update: Rep. Jared Polis, known for his fun attire, is excited about the news.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.