Jared Polis may become the first politician to collect bitcoin donations for his campaign war chest under the new Federal Election Commission rules.
Polis, a Colorado congressman, rushed in immediately to give bitcoin devotees a chance to contribute to his campaign on Thursday after the FEC said that donations in the digital currency are legal. Polis plans to campaign for his re-election this November.
Polis launched a website that allows bitcoin users to campaign for him. Within 24 hours, over $1000 worth of bitcoins was donated to his campaign, reported the New York Times.
FEC’s ruling was as a result of intense lobbying from Make Your Laws PAC, a North Carolina-based political nonprofit that states its mission is “to allow normal citizens to directly participate in every aspect of their legislative process worldwide”.
Polis is no doubt proud of his feat; In fact he told the Times that he was the first politician to accept bitcoin donations as per FEC’s new rules.
“I think there were one or two that toyed around with [bitcoin contributions] before these rules came out,” Polis said. “But under the actual permission from the Federal Election Commission, we’ve been working on this for weeks expecting that a ruling would occur, so we were able to go live within hours of the ruling.”‘
Bitcoin is a virtual currency that exists free from control from any government or central bank, and also offers its users anonymity. It has rapidly gained popularity partly due to its acceptance by an increasing number of businesses. However, most governments have expressed concerns that the currency may be used for money laundering or purchase of illegal arms and drugs. China has recently taken measures to further restrict its use by ordering local banks not to deal with the currency.
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