Cryptocurrency Donations in Politics: Embrace the Change Before Itâs too Late
With the 2022 midterm elections of America on their way, and candidates continuing amassing massive donations, there should be a realization that credit cards, debit cards, and old-fashioned paper checks are becoming the forgotten donation methods.
More politicians than ever are accepting cryptocurrency donations, thus trying to get donations through untapped fronts, which were not possible in earlier election cycles.
Be it convenience, privacy, or avoiding taxes, getting donations of cryptocurrencies is a reasonable approach as it helps politicians outplay their competitors easily.
And as of now, political donations in the form of cryptocurrencies are not subject to any regulation in America, allowing politicians to get them in significant numbers.
A 2014 advisory opinion is currently regulating bitcoins in politics, which does not stop politicians from taking bitcoins.
And for politicians, the best part is that they can use bitcoin possessions when their value is raised, which will be helping them make a profit out of their donations.
Contrary to this, if the bitcoin value is low, you can wait for it to get higher to get maximum profit out of it.
FEC Guidelines to Recognize Before Accepting Bitcoin Donations
FEC guidelines do not answer some relevant specific inquiries of politicians, which every candidate should care about before starting to amass bitcoins in political donations.
- The commission has no specific guideline on whether or not politicians can purchase services and goods by paying directly from bitcoins.
- While the commission specifically mentions bitcoin, it does not address other cryptocurrencies that have surfaced recently.
- Although the FEC portrays that any political committee can accept bitcoin donations up to $100 value, it does not say that getting more than this is illegal.
- The FEC does not establish any specific guideline for super PACs regarding cryptocurrencies, which could then get an unlimited amount of donations to support or oppose political candidacy. In a utopian environment, these committees should be able to get an unlimited amount of bitcoins, but the FEC is silent on this.
- While the FEC has asked the political committees to publically declare cryptocurrency contributions, most political campaigns have not followed these guidelines, which suggests that the FEC has failed to maintain its recommendations regarding the contributions.
Political Candidates are Already Embracing the Change
Seeing the upward tick in political candidates getting donations in cryptocurrencies, it is the right time for Congress to start thinking about legislating these donations, or the role of dirty money in politics can intensify in the near future.
Some federal politicians who have outpaced others in getting donations in cryptocurrencies include Andrew Yang, the former candidate for the presidency of the United States and a mayoral candidate for the New City, who decided to leave the Democratic Party recently.
He announced forming his own party, named the Forward Party, and declared that he would start accepting cryptocurrency donations.
While Yang did not manage to make his 2020 presidential campaign a success, he was successful in setting a new trend in politics based on his background in technology.
The Chamber of Digital Commerce political action committee wanted to make a statement in the cryptocurrency era in October 2020. To do so, they donated $50 worth of bitcoins to every politician of Congress, whether it was as liberal a candidate as AOC or as conservative as Rep. Matt Gaetz.
This step has surely paved the way for bitcoin proponents to start getting donations in cryptocurrencies, which will help Congressional politicians in making a mark in the right direction.
Those politicians who start their bitcoin campaign earlier than others will be better able to compete in the competitive landscape of US politics.
Other countries should also start embracing the change, as cryptocurrencies are the future, and if governments do not allow them in the political arena, it can hamper the campaign efforts of many politicians.
While there are a lot of other political candidates who are currently accepting donations in bitcoins, the takeaway for smaller political campaigns is to launch their wallets to catch up with the trend or be ready to lose their next elections.