Bitcoin Finds Unfurling Use in American Political Donations
After the Senate’s first official hearing on cryptocurrencies, top U.S. politicos’ approach to the ecosystem seems to be as open-minded as American traders could hope for. And more promising yet for American crypto enthusiasts is that more and more U.S. politicians are starting to accept bitcoin political donations. Has a tipping point been reached?
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Bitcoin in Political Coffers Growing
It was once feared that an American political crackdown on cryptocurrency use in general could be in the cards. That seems improbable now, particularly as a growing number of U.S. politicians are starting to greenlight the acceptance of campaign contributions in bitcoin.
Back in 2014, Colorado Representative Jared Polis was reportedly the first U.S. politico to accept bitcoin donations for political fundraising. Second came Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who made waves in the cryptoverse in 2016 when he began accepting bitcoins in conjunction with his bid for the presidency.
The latest comer to the scene? Missouri Senate hopeful Austin Petersen.
Per an early January 2018 financial filing for Petersen’s ongoing campaign, his team confirmed the had received 24 separate bitcoin donations to date, donations equivalent to $9,700 USD at that point. Petersen also notably holds (or hodls?) the distinction for the largest bitcoin donation in U.S. political history — 0.284 BTC — for now.
Jeff Carson, Austin Petersen’s campaign manager, projects more of where that came from. Not only for Petersen alone, but for politicians in America in general, per Carson:
“I think it goes without saying we’re going to see a lot more of this in terms of campaign contributions and campaign financing.”
California Campaign Got $66,000 in Bitcoin in 2017
According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Brian Forde — current contender in California’s 45th district — received bitcoin campaign contributions totaling approximately $66,000 in autumn 2017.
The success Forde’s seen in cryptocurrency fundraising has led numerous political peers asking the Congressman-hopeful “how they can accept bitcoin as well.”
Personally, Forde says accepting and using BTC as a politician is a natural extension of his science-based platform:
“I’m running for Congress to restore science and tech to its rightful place in Washington and that starts with using the very technology I will be asked to legislate.
[…] When Howard Dean first accepted credit cards online to fundraise for his campaign, people were skeptical. Four years later, Barack Obama broke fundraising records using the same technology. Bitcoin, and its underlying technology, blockchain, is often described as ‘the next internet.’ We’re proud to join hundreds of thousands of people and companies around the world that accept bitcoin.”
What do you think? Should U.S. politicians warm up to crypto faster? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via National Review, Business Insider