The relationship between crypto and politics is dysfunctional but could be improving as news is surfacing that political candidates running for office in California could soon be accepting crypto donations.
The news came out of a California Fair Political Practices Commission meeting on Thursday that discussed some issues relating to elections and the acceptance of crypto donations as part of campaigns.
Crypto donations for Californian politics
The meeting to discuss the electoral needs of the Golden State was dominated by the topic to allow political candidates running for office to accept crypto donations from supporters. Although the commission didn’t jump the gun to make a decision right away during the hearing, they did acknowledge that they have a minimal understanding regarding the issue that needs quickly rectifying.
The Federal Election Commission way back in 2014 decided to allow political candidates to receive crypto donations such as bitcoin. At Thursday’s meeting, the chairwoman of the commission, Alice Germond, was clear that a definition for crypto is desperately needed by saying, “I would be inclined to think that bitcoin is a thing that is not U.S. money but is more like a currency, like the Euro. But I would like to hear more to develop my thinking on this.”
In a bid to speed up the proceedings and to push the commission, Nicolas Heidorn, the policy and legal director of the organization, California Common Cause, suggested that crypto donations should be allowed for now while the commission studies the matter further. However, the commission did not agree with the idea.
More opinion on politicians accepting crypto
Although there was a very positive attitude towards crypto donations at the meeting, there were some quarters of the commission that pushed back against the idea. The commissioner Allison Hayward, suggested that she would rather see an outright ban on political candidates receiving donations in crypto until more information could be collated on the subject by the board.
“I think cryptocurrencies are obviously new and designed to be confidential but the blockchain technology I think might ultimately be a very robust tool in tracing activity,” said Hayward. “I don’t think we’re there yet, but I would hate for something we do to forestall that later on. I don’t know what that would be but… blockchain might be a very useful tool for us and I’d hate to prevent that.”
Some commissioners at the meeting sat on the wall regarding the issues, such as Brian Hatch and Frank Cardenas, who both disagreed with Hayward on the outright ban, although Hatch brought up the issue of the ongoing fraud that is sometimes associated with cryptocurrency.
The commission did come to an agreement for the meantime that a cap of $100 per crypto donation could be a sensible starting place for this year’s midterm elections. This would allow time for the commission to gain more knowledge on the subject. The commission will be meeting again next month to discuss the matter further.
It doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to allow political candidates to accept crypto donations from supporters, and it looks like California will make it a reality in the not-too-distant future.
I am very experienced writer/blogger who has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community for several years. I have experience writing for crypto news sites and proactively been involved in the startup of other ICO and crypto ventures over the course of the past four years.