WASHINGTON (5/12/14)--The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has unanimously approved the use of the digital currency bitcoin for political donations.
In a May 8 statement, Chairman Lee Goodman noted that "bitcoin contributions will be regulated and reported by recipient political committees as in-kind contributions."
Members of the commission have imposed several conditions on these contributions, most notably that they cannot be anonymous, and campaign treasurers must scrutinize the donations for "evidence of illegality" (USA Today May 9).
Additionally, Goodman said the commission lacks statutory authority to impose limitations. Although the requesting party, Make Your Laws PAC, said it would voluntarily limit acceptance of bitcoins to no more than $100 from any single contributor, as a general rule, the FEC lacks the authority to impose such a limitation on bitcoin contributions.
An article in Politico (May 9) also stated that the ruling "does not prevent political committees from testing the boundaries of federal law on crypto-currencies."
Attorney Dan Backer, who has created a bitcoin political action committee, told Politico that his organization plans to press Congress and the FEC with further questions on bitcoin and other digital currencies.