Bitcoin donations have been helping politicians organize well-funded electoral campaigns in recent times. Candidates are putting more interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies now since they are a proven and viable means of getting substantial campaign donations.
Obama Funded with Credit Cards, Next Generation Politics Uses Bitcoin
According to ABC News, Missouri Republican Austin Petersen‘s campaign for Senate received 24 bitcoin contributions totaling $9,700. One of the transactions was a donation of 0.284 bitcoin (BTC) which was worth $4,500 at the time of reception on December 20, 2017.
The campaign manager hinted on January 11, 2018, that the bitcoin donation was the most massive single bitcoin contribution in the history of the federal election. Petersen’s campaign manager Jeff Carson explained that “it goes without saying we’re going to see a lot more of this in terms of campaign contributions and campaign financing.”
Carson also declared that Petersen loves competition and that accepting bitcoin as campaign donations is in line with the politician’s political philosophy.
“[Austin Peterson] is personally a fan of competition in the marketplace, even when it comes to our currency. With the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it was a no-brainer for us to use those.”
In 2014, the Federal Election Commission gave individuals the go-ahead to contribute to electoral campaigns via virtual currency, and since then cryptocurrencies have continued to play a significant role in funding political campaigns. In 2014, for instance, Jared Polis accepted bitcoin in his congressional campaign, and Rand Paul took bitcoin contributions in 2015, during his presidential bid.
On January 15, 2018, BTCManager reported on Madeline Eden attempts to revolutionize the U.S. electoral systems using Blockchain technology if elected to Congress. Other, experts say the increase in bitcoin campaign contributions is due to the ubiquity of cryptocurrencies.
Executive chairman of Blockchain Intelligence Group, Shone Anstey reiterated that:
“It certainly has taken off aggressively with the dramatic rise in price [of bitcoin], it’s also taken off aggressively with millennials, who are glued to their phones and have taken to cryptocurrencies very naturally.”
Kelli Ward, a Republican Senate candidate, has a page on her campaign website dedicated to accepting bitcoin donations. Patrick Nelson, a member of the Democratic party, running for the New York Congress is also accepting bitcoin. Nelson stated that, “We’re a 21st Century campaign as such we embrace new technologies like #bitcoin.”
Democrat Brian Forde‘s congressional bid in California’s 45th district has received the most bitcoin contributions so far according to the FEC’s records. The politician received over $66,000 in August and September 2017.
Forde’s success has prompted many members of Congress to ask him for advice on how to accept bitcoin donations. “I’m running for Congress to restore science and tech to its rightful place in Washington and that starts with using the very technology I will be asked to legislate,” he said, adding that:
“When Howard Dean first accepted credit cards online to fundraise for his campaign, people were skeptical. Four years later, Barack Obama broke fundraising records using the same technology. Bitcoin and its underlying technology, Blockchain, is often described as ‘the next internet.’ We’re proud to join hundreds of thousands of people and companies around the world that accept bitcoin.”