The US Federal Election Commission (FEC) has determined that political campaigns and political action committees (PACs) may accept bitcoin as a form of in-kind donation under current federal election laws.
In the report, the commission wrote:
Bitcoins use for campaigns
Under US law, most campaign contributions must be deposited into a campaign bank depository 10 days after receipt.
In the case of stocks, bonds or pieces of artwork, however, a campaign or action committee may hold that asset for longer than 10 days. Once that asset is liquidated, the proceeds must then be placed into a campaign depository. The same applies for digital currency:
The FEC also determined that campaigns are required to adhere to existing guidelines for reporting the receipt or sale of bitcoins. This includes collecting personal information from any donor.
MYL also sought guidance on the sale and disbursements of bitcoins. The FEC concluded that, according to US federal election laws, a campaign or PAC may purchase bitcoins for the purpose of investment, but that they cannot be disbursed from the organization. Disbursement can only take place if the bitcoins are sold and the proceeds are placed in a campaign depository.
Bitcoin donations increasing
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott started taking bitcoin donations in April and his campaign has been treating these contributions as in-kind, according to state and federal law.
Uncertainty prior to the FEC’s release has resulted in some state-based election regulators to postpone their own decisions on bitcoin donations.
Earlier this week, a Wisconsin alderman running for state office returned a $100 bitcoin donation after the Government Accountability Board opted to not set a policy on the matter before the FEC could weigh in.
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