The campaign finance watchdog in California has voted almost unanimously to prohibit the donations to political campaigns in the state in form of cryptocurrency. The vote was held this week and had a final result of 3-1 with 3 voting against allowing crypto contributions.
This is a topic that is now picking up steam in the political world and a number of other states have made their decisions.
Colorado, Montana, Oregon, and Tennessee have voted to allow political campaigns receive cryptocurrency donations while Kansas, South Carolina, North Carolina and now California have voted otherwise.
Why or Why Not?
There are a number of compelling arguments both for allowing cryptocurrency donations and for banning them.
Those who are against them say that the use of cryptocurrency for donations will allow people to give anonymously, further murky the already complicated waters of politics and also argue that this can lead to increased corruption and an ease in giving and receiving bribes.
Cryptocurrency, according to California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) commissioner Frank Cardenas, “is completely untraceable with respect to the identity of the individual.”’
Also, due to the recent revelations that some Russian officials who engaged in election fraud were paid in cryptocurrency, some voters are skeptical about allowing it formally into the political sphere.
“How do we know that they are not just a straw man for some oligarch or some foreign government?” Commissioner Brian Hatch asked. “This is a system that is designed to hide the source of the money, so why would we get into this?”
Those who are for the use of cryptocurrencies in donations argue that cryptocurrency is gaining new ground every day and that it will eventually be as commonly used as fiat currency. At that point, they say, it will be ludicrous to not allow people donate in crypto.
“The transfer of cryptocurrency creates an immutable record, and this technology offers the public benefits in terms of transparency of political contributions,” said group executive director of the Blockchain advocacy coalition Ally Medina in a letter to the panel.
Not Just Stateside
The discussion of crypto as political donations isn’t only being discussed in America. In Taiwan, for example, people may make donations in cryptocurrency, but an anonymous donation is not allowed to surpass NT10,000 in value.