You Can Now Contribute To Political Campaigns With Bitcoins
Published May 19th, 2014
The Federal Election Commission recently made headlines by voting to allow the use of bitcoins in the political donation process. All six members of the commission voted unanimously to allow bitcoin donations of up to $100 dollars per person per campaign in the 2014 midterm elections and beyond.
As per the Federal Election Commission, bitcoin donations will be considered "in kind" contributions. This will allow them to be looked at less like traditional cash donatinos and more like stocks and bonds. The total amount that is being donated will vary depending on the value of each bitcoin at the time of the donation. The political fund that is being donated to can decide for itself whether to cash out with the bitcoins right away or wait until the price increases down the road. One of the rules that the Federal Election Commission has dictated, however, is that all bitcoins that are donated to a particular campaign must be converted into United States dollars before it can be deposited into an account or spent.
Bitcoin is a type of cyber currency known as a "peer to peer" payment system. It was introduced in 2009 and is also referred to as digital currency, virtual currency or cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is a very controversial topic for a wide variety of different reasons. Because the system that controls bitcoin is not controlled by a single entity, the United States treasury has called it a decentralized currency. This is due to the fact that bitcoins are being transferred from one person to another instead of through the use of a type of middleman.
The ability to donate to political campaigns with bitcoins is another in a seriers of notable events along the currency's road to legitimacy. Slowly but surely, a wide variety of different established merchants have decided to accept bitcoin as a form of payment. This includes Overstock.com, TigerDirect, Zynga, Virgin Galactica and more. In November of 2013, the University of Nicosia made headlines around the world by becoming the first university in the world to accept bitcoins as a form of payment.
Because the ownership of bitcoins is difficult for authorities to track due to the complicated nature of the software that is being used, bitcoin has also come under attack for being associated with criminal activity. Bitcoin as a currency has previously been associated with black markets like Silk Road, for example. Silk Road was an online black market where people could buy everything from drugs to illegal handguns. Bitcoins have also been used in a number of notable money laundering scams and Ponzi schemes.
Because bitcoins are a digital currency, they are also susceptible to viruses and other certain types of malware. Bitcoin malware generally steals bitcoins from users and empties their virtual wallets in the process.