Federal Election Commission approves bitcoin for political donations

By Daniel S Levine,

The Federal Election Commission approved the use of bitcoin to make political donations on Thursday.

The agency made a unanimous decision, approving a request from a political action committee, notes The New York Times. They officially approved the definition of bitcoin donation as “money or anything of value” - essentially a traditional cash donation.

According to Reuters, the FEC limited bitcoin donations from individuals to $100 per election cycle. Each person making the donation to the PAC needs to list their name, address and jobs, as well as prove that they are the owners of the bitcoins.

A PAC can liquidate the bitcoins immediately or use it as an investment, although that is a gamble, since the value of bitcoin continually fluctuates. The FEC also allowed committees to buy bitcoins on the market themselves.

FEC chairman Lee Goldman said he approved the decision since it “lays a foundation for the use of bitcoins specifically and new technologies generally within the commission’s well established regulatory framework.”

Bitcoin has become the most popular currency on the web, but no government or central bank is backing the currency. An MIT group said it will begin distributing bitcoins to students to foster a bitcoin economy there. The IRS also said in March that it could be taxable as property, not currency.

 
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