Tennessee Bill under consideration for “digital currency” contributions

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The State of Tennessee is looking at a bill that would allow political campaigns and candidates to accept digital currencies such as bitcoin for political contributions.

Senate Bill 674 states that the purpose of the bill authored by Steven Dickerson (Republican) as,

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 2, Chapter 10, relative to digital currency.

The bill’s text acts as an amendment to current legislation on campaign and candidate financing to add digital currency as a form of political contributions in the state.

The bill filed on February 11th and introduced on February 12th has received a PASS on first consideration.

The bill seeks to add the words “digital currency between  “payment,” and “gift,” in current legislation and seeks to add extra sections stating,

A candidate or political campaign committee is allowed to accept digital currency as a contribution. Digital currency shall be considered a monetary contribution with the value of the digital currency being the market value of the digital currency at the time the contribution is received.

The bill would bring Tennessee more in line with national guidance about political contributions of digital currencies but does stipulate that candidates and political campaigns must exchange the digital currency to fiat before being spent with the addition of:

A candidate or political campaign committee must sell any digital currency and deposit the proceeds from those sales into a campaign account before spending the funds.

Much like capital gains the candidates and political campaigns must also report any increases in the value. For campaign finance reporting the bill states it wishes to see those gains treated as interest earned. It does not address value losses directly.

The complete text of the bill can be found below:

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