60% of US Voters Agree that Cryptos Should be Accepted for Donations in Federal Elections

Author: 
Michael R.
Date: 
October 31, 2018
Read time: 
2 minutes
Cryptocurrencies
Federal Elections
Donations

For nearly 200 years, donations towards U.S. Federal Elections have been an extremely polarizing and controversial topic. There are varying state and federal laws defining how much money can be donated, methods for donating, and who is permitted to donate. Additionally, lots of campaign funding is done privately, making it difficult for the government to keep tabs on who is really behind different political agendas; primarily to avoid corruption or laundering. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency and blockchain activists have been promoting the use of the technology for increased security, transparency, and accessibility for donating.

For nearly 200 years, donations towards U.S. Federal Elections have been an extremely polarizing and controversial topic. There are varying state and federal laws defining how much money can be donated, methods for donating, and who is permitted to donate. Additionally, lots of campaign funding is done privately, making it difficult for the government to keep tabs on who is really behind different political agendas; primarily to avoid corruption or laundering. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency and blockchain activists have been promoting the use of the technology for increased security, transparency, and accessibility for donating.

In a recent survey done by Clovr, 1,023 registered U.S. voters were asked for their opinions on virtual assets. 60% of the participants believed that it should be legal to donate towards different campaigns in Federal Elections using cryptocurrency. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents all had a majority favor for the acceptance of cryptocurrencies as legal tender for donations. 73% of the participants who were comfortable with cryptocurrencies believed that security is not an issue. Trust in the space is growing.

While the Federal government does not explicitly ban cryptocurrencies from being used in Federal Elections, they are not taxed and categorized the same as the U.S. dollar. This affects how cryptocurrencies can be accepted by the campaign.

Cryptocurrency is taxed similarly to property, where each purchase and sale is a taxable event. As a result, in 2014, the Federal Elections Committee - the governing body which oversees campaigns for presidential elections as well as house and senate elections - made a ruling that Bitcoin can be accepted as an “in-kind” donation with a limit of $100. The fact that they view this as an “in-kind” donation further means that cryptocurrencies are viewed similarly to a physical asset. An in-kind donation is a type of donation where the donator can deduct the amount from their income to avoid paying taxes on a “sale.”

To date, only Virginia and Tennessee have considered legislation for digital currency use in elections. There is still progress to be made, but it is positive to see that the people are in a majority support for the use of cryptocurrencies in federal elections.

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