US Politicians To Receive Bitcoins - Essay Example

Eight US Congress members were carefully chosen. They will soon get bitcoin donations by mail.

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For some of them, this will perhaps be their first direct contact with the digital currency.

BitPAC is a Washington, DC-based Political action committee that focuses on bitcoin policy. This initiative to distribute $250 worth of bitcoin was led by BitPAC. They will deliver these bitcoins in paper wallets to the 8 politicians.

The people who will receive the donation are Rand Paul (R-KY) Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR)mPaul Ryan (R-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).

Dan Backer, founder of BitPAC, said in an interview that his expectation from the initiative is to have an effect on Capitol Hill. He believes Capitol Hill must familiarize with the decentralized money.

Back in May, the Federal Election Commission offered more direction. A report was issued, advising that action committees and political campaigns could accept bitcoin donations.

Even after that, Backer suggested that FEC should do more. The FEC’s guidance only outlined what is permissible.

He confirmed that the donations are in the mail and will soon be delivered.

BitPAC’s funding mainly comes from a range of donors. Many of these donors try to pressurize the US policymakers to take concrete decisions about bitcoin and the campaign finance law.

Backer represented the Conservative Action Fund as it needed clarity about whether political campaigns were allowed to accept bitcoin for fundraising.

The formal request was followed by a FEC hearing on November 2013, which ended with guidance that the digital currency should be treated as an in-kind donation.

He believes that his BitPAC donations symbolize a pivotal step toward US politicians appreciating the true value of Bitcoin. He hopes that they will see the crypto currency as a tool for political-fundraising.

Backer and his team decided to issue paper bitcoin wallets to the selected politicians. Paper wallets carry both the public keys and private keys to Bitcoin which is represented on the block chain.

He thought paper would be a better option for the first small step towards acceptance.

According to Backer, the $250 amount was decided because it is more than the threshold reportable by a receiver as an itemized donation.

BitPAC’s current goal is to concentrate on clarifying election laws connected to bitcoin. This is the main reason they targeted both Democrats and Republicans, and members of the US Senate and House of Republicans.

The donations that the politicians will receive are supposed to entice them to pressure the FEC.

BitPAC wants the Federal Election Commission to offer more guidance to solidify the crypto currency’s use in political-fundraising.

Backer explained that some of the selected members of Congress never faced a situation where they had to handle the digital currency. It is very unlikely that they will refuse a campaign donation.