Romanian Presidential Candidate Accepts Bitcoin Donations

Nermin Hajdarbegovic
Jan 17, 2014 at 16:31 UTC

A Romanian lawmaker has announced that he will be accepting bitcoin donations during his run for presidency.

Remus Cernea Constance is a flamboyant independent member of parliament and an avid secularist, known for his campaigns against discrimination based on religious affiliation, and for the separation of church and state. He is a former member of the Green Party and a campaigner for sustainable technologies.

Green bitcoins

The politician made headlines with his announcement on Thursday that his campaign would accept donations in the currency, saying:

“I’m the first politician in the world who has announced that his presidential campaign will accept donations in bitcoin. It is a world first as far as I know.”

So why did Remus Cernea decide to embrace bitcoin? He argues this is just the first step toward a transparently-funded campaign. He has already got his first donation from the owner of a Romanian Bitcoin trading platform, Horia Vuscan, reports Adevarul.

Writing on his Facebook page, Remus Cernea said bitcoin is a “revolutionary currency” as it does not depend on any state and is not issued by a central bank. “In general, it is already accepted in democratic countries with mature market economies,” he said.

Raising questions elsewhere

Although Romania is a relatively small economy, it already has a thriving bitcoin community. Hence, the decision to accept bitcoin donations will probably yield more in the way of public support than hard cash. Nonetheless, this seems like an interesting way of attracting support and press coverage.

Political donations are heavily regulated and restricted in almost every democratic country; bitcoin could be a way of going around these restrictions, due to its anonymity.

However, this should not be a problem in the US, where unlimited contributions were made possible by the Citizens United ruling, which allows wealthy donors, corporations and interest groups to throw unlimited monies to candidates willing to support their agenda.

Image Credit: ANTI.USL / Flickr