Dan Elder, a US House candidate in the 1st Congressional District of Missouri, has announced that he will fund his election campaign solely on bitcoin donations.
Starting on 11th July, Elder’s campaign website will only accept bitcoin donations. The candidate hopes to draw attention to digital currency during both his campaign and, if elected, his time in office.
A decision by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) allows in-kind donations in bitcoin, with a limit of $100. The May decision, prompted by questions from political action committees, opened the doors for campaigns to accept bitcoin from constituents and supporters.
Elder told CoinDesk that digital currency offers a unique way to bring soundness back to the idea of money. The Air National Guard veteran and IT specialist sees bitcoin as a competitive force against fiat currencies, traditional central banking and a risky financial sector.
“I'm accepting BTC donations to solely fund my campaign to take a stance against the Federal Reserve and its policies which have weakened the US dollar.”
First bitcoin-only candidate in United States
Elder’s campaign effort is significant as he is the first candidate in the United States to accept only digital currency.
He first learned about bitcoin several years ago. Elder cited a career-long involvement with technology and participation in the right-leaning Liberty Movement, the latter of which being a source of broad support for digital currency.
“I want to stand before Congress, sponsor and support competing currency legislation, and remove any legal confusion for US citizens wishing to use bitcoin. The IRS still sees bitcoin as property, not currency, and the FEC hasn't decided how to treat bitcoin in regards to political campaigns. I want to deal with issues like these to make bitcoin a true competitor of the US dollar.”
Other politicians, including US Congressman Jared Polis, have already tapped bitcoin for its fundraising potential. Representative Steve Stockman of Texas began accepting bitcoin earlier this year, and later filed a digital currency bill in Congress.
Candidate aims for greater awareness
Despite a lack of concrete information about bitcoin among the broader voting population, Elder foresees success in his efforts. He remarked that the response has been enthusiastic since he first embarked on the bitcoin-only concept, saying:
“I've gotten only positive reactions and received great input from people, so I'm confident to fund the campaign at least as well as if I had relied solely on US dollar donations.”
Ultimately, Elder’s intention is to “bring more public attention to this new, open, less-regulated currency” that he says should function on an international scale like the US dollar and other fiat currencies.
Elder added that even if he isn’t successful in his bid for seat in the 1st District, he will see the campaign as a successful chance to further educate the populace about bitcoin.
Image via Elect Dan Elder Campaign