Local politician is the first in Ireland to accept Bitcoin donations

Ossian Smyth is the name of Ireland’s first Bitcoin-friendly politician. The candidate is running for Dun Laoghaire, a suburban seaside town in the Dublin county, during the next local elections scheduled for May.

Smyth, a member of the Green Party, says the world’s most famous digital coin has the potential to bring more transparency to politics in Ireland. “I think it is one of the most transparent ways of receiving donations. No one would know how much money can be donated into a bank account, but with Bitcoin anyone can go to the block chain and look at the wallet”, he told Silicon Republic.

“Over the next six weeks, the public will be able to see every transaction using Blockchain.info”, Smyth announced this week.

The politician is a tech-savvy man with a career connected to Microsoft and Citibank as an IT consultant. Besides being the party’s internet spokesman and representative for communications, energy and natural resources, Smyth currently works at St Vincent’s Hospital and mentors the local CoderDojo in Dun Laoghaire.

I know from my mentorship at CoderDojo that many of the parents of the coders work in IT and finance, and many of those are likely to be interested in causes like transparency.

The current Irish regulations determine that the politician will only be allowed to raise a total of €11,700, almost 40 BTC according to the current exchange rate, and that no donations can be anonymous. However, Smyth’s goal is to raise only 15 BTC.

Once in office, the candidate plans to encourage transparency in local politics in Ireland. The first step will be to publish every document or contract that he believes is in the public interest.

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