The Federal Election Commission allowed political committees to accept donations in bitcoins on Thursday, making it the one of the few government agencies to announce their stance on the digital currency.
The panel, which voted 6-0, explained that a PAC will be allowed to purchase bitcoins and accept donations with a maximum cap of $100 in the virtual currency. However, the PAC must sell the bitcoins to convert them into U.S. dollars after which the money is deposited into the campaign account.
However, the commission didn’t permit using bitcoin to purchase goods and services. The decision follows after FEC reached no conclusion on a similar issue last fall, after three Democrats appointed to the commission said that they wanted more time for the agency to research the bitcoins and draft a policy that will govern how bitcoin in used during campaigns. Some commissioners had voiced concerns that bitcoin may be used to hide the real identity of donors.
However, on Thursday, the panel voted swiftly in favor of the bitcoins. Much of the reason for the approval was due to the $100 limit on bitcoin donations, revealed Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, according to the Washington Post.
“The $100 limit was really important to us,” she said. “We have to balance a desire to accommodate innovation, which is a good thing, with a concern that we continue to protect transparency in the system and ensure that foreign money doesn’t seep in.”
The decision to limit the bitcoin donations to $100 means that donors will just give out a fraction of one unit of the digital currency, as the bitcoin prices swung close to $440 on Thursday. Bitcoin donors must list down their name, occupation, employer and address. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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