It’s official: after two months considering the proposal, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has proposed a new rule that will allow political campaigns in the United States to accept Bitcoin. However, the candidates getting cryptocurrency donations won’t be able to spend the virtual coins, according to a draft made public this week.
The document states that the campaigns will have to convert the received Bitcoins before actually using them, with the digital coins being considered an “in-kind” form of contribution, like a stock or bond, the site Politico reports. Basically, this means the FEC doesn’t consider Bitcoin as currency.
Because Bitcoins are neither the currency of any country nor negotiable instruments, Bitcoins are not ‘money’ under commission regulations. Therefore, a political committee that receives Bitcoin contributions may not treat them as monetary contributions.
The decision is finally here after the Conservative Action Fund PAC requested the Federal Election Commission an official position, in September, regarding Bitcoin donations to political campaigns.
With this new ruling, cryptocurrency joins other types of non-monetary contributions like private stocks, commodities and equipment, which must all have their value listed in US dollars on the campaign finance reports.
When converting the cryptocurrency to US dollars, the exchange will probably charge a fee that will have to be considered part of the initial donation. Also, with the value of the currency floating on a daily basis, the campaign managers will have to be careful not to accept donations above the federal limits.
In the meantime, members of the public can submit comments on the draft until November 13. After that, the commission will officially decide if the proposal deserves to be formally adopted.
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