US Senate Hearing Will Look at Crypto's Impact on Elections

The U.S. policymakers will look into potential risks that digital currencies could pose to the American democracy.

AccessTimeIconJun 22, 2018 at 5:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:05 a.m. UTC
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The U.S. Senate is looking to assess the impact of cryptocurrencies on American elections.

The Senate's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism will host a hearing titled "Protecting Our Elections: Examining Shell Companies and Virtual Currencies as Avenues for Foreign Interference" on June 26, according to a scheduled posted on the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary's website

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham will oversee the hearing. Other details about the hearing – including a list of witnesses – have yet to be released.

The Federal Election Commission ruled in 2014 that political campaigns and political action committees may accept bitcoin as a donation under existing federal law. The FEC treats cryptocurrency contributions as "in-kind donations" similar to stocks, bonds and other assets, as previously reported by CoinDesk. However, there are strict limits on the amount that can be donated.

It's possible that the hearing will see a debate about donors contributing cryptocurrencies to campaigns in the U.S. Brian Forde, a former senior advisor at the Obama administration who ran for Congress, raised approximately $200,000 through cryptocurrencies, with more than $5,000 from his own wallet, as Politico reported in May.

Perhaps the most high-profile example came amid the 2016 presidential election when U.S. Senator and then-presidential candidate Rand Paul started accepting bitcoin donations.

Congress image via Shutterstock

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