Do you know those extra bitcoins you have lying around? Those who have wanted to donate to a political campaign? Well you’re in luck!
What’s happening: At least two Georgia Republicans running statewide are requesting cryptocurrencies as campaign donations.
The panorama: These candidates are part of a bipartisan group of politicians from across the country who have been accepting digital currency.
Details: State Senator Burt Jones, the Trump-backed Republican running for lieutenant governor, recently launched a cryptocurrency payment portal after donors expressed interest.
- He joins Republican candidate for Secretary of State David Belle Isle, who claims to have launched the first portal in the spring, also after donor interest. He said it took more than six weeks to build.
Is this legal? According to David Emadi, executive director of the state’s Campaign Finance Commission, Georgia candidates can accept cryptocurrencies if the donation is immediately converted into US dollars, to ensure that the value does not exceed legal limits.
- The FEC, which regulates campaign finance for federal candidates, has published a guide on digital currency. It allows committees to hold donations in a “bitcoin wallet,” but they are still subject to federal contribution limits and reporting requirements.
Yes, but: Emadi said there is no rule that a cryptocurrency-originated donation is identified as such when it is reported in dollars. Therefore, it is difficult to know exactly how much Bitcoin has fueled the political coffers in Georgia.
Of note: This is not new. Former Georgia Republican Rep. Bob Barr was at the forefront when he solicited bitcoin donations in 2014. He tells Axios that happened thanks to the guidance of his “younger staff.”