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Author Topic: [2014-05-09]US Federal Election Commission Permits Bitcoin Political Contributio  (Read 296 times)
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May 09, 2014, 11:51:31 AM
US Federal Election Commission Permits Bitcoin Political Contributions as Advised by Bitcoin Foundation
By Marco Santori, Chairman, Regulatory Affairs Committee • May 8, 2014
We are pleased to announce that the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) has sided with the Bitcoin Foundation to permit political campaigns to accept bitcoins as contributions.  We applaud this first groundbreaking step toward Bitcoin adoption.  Under the decision, the campaign finance laws that apply to other kinds of contributions also apply to Bitcoin.

Thus, Bitcoin contributions cannot be made anonymously, and foreign nationals cannot use bitcoins to fund U.S. campaigns and direct the course of U.S. politics. Further, donors cannot evade contribution limits simply by dealing in Bitcoin.

In August, the Bitcoin Foundation received word that the FEC was considering whether to permit a PAC to accept contributions in Bitcoin.  The Foundation saw this as a critical regulatory event in the course of Bitcoin adoption and legitimacy.  If the FEC permitted bitcoin political contributions, it would signal Bitcoin parity with the Dollar on the federal political stage.  If, on the other hand, the FEC prohibited bitcoin political contributions, Bitcoin users in the United States would be unable to use their coins to determine the course of their government.

In response, the Foundation moved to swift action.  On September 16, 2013, the Foundation submitted to the FEC lengthy and detailed comments on the issue.  In an 11 page letter, the Foundation explained the core Bitcoin protocol, stressed the importance of permitting Bitcoin contributions and set forth legal precedent supporting its position. The Foundation submitted further comments re-emphasizing its position on May 7, 2014.

The next day, on May 8, 2014, the FEC adopted its final position, liberally citing the Foundation’s comments, concluding that political action committees can accept bitcoins as political contributions.  This is a significant victory for Bitcoin users in the United States and sets an important precedent for similar decisions in democracies around the world.
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