Magazine article Campaigns & Elections

Bitcoin Opens the Purse Strings in Washington

Magazine article Campaigns & Elections

Bitcoin Opens the Purse Strings in Washington

Article excerpt

BUSINESS

Will the Federal Election Commission take a fresh look at Bitcoin ahead of next fall?

©itcoin is on its way to becoming a political "player" in Washington, D.C., but will that influence the Federal Election Commission to come to a decision on Bitcoin's viably as a currency for political donations?

For now, the virtual currency is making a very real D.C. push. The Bitcoin Foundation, with industry representation, now has an office inside the Beltway. The foundation has just a single employee based in Washington, but it has set up shop in downtown D.C., in close proximity to the White House. Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, who now works in the Washington office of law firm Perkins Coie, is helping devise a political strategy for Bitcoin.

On Capitol Hill, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) has gone from referring to Bitcoin as an "online form of money laundering" to suggesting that it could "revolutionize payment systems, or even form the building blocks for whole new technology platforms."

And on the campaign front, Texas Rep. Steve Stockman (R) began accepting political donations in Bitcoin. Stockman, who has launched a primary challenge to Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R), hasn't disclosed how he will report Bitcoin contributions on his next campaign finance report, but that will be something for the FEC to deal with.

Bitcoin's recent moves in the nation's capital beg the question: Will the FEC review its November non-decision on whether or not Bitcoin can be accepted as a political donation? …

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