Bitcoin, the fast-growing digital currency, is coming to political campaigns. The Federal Election Commission unanimously approved its use as a political donation Thursday, after months of debate on the issue. Commissioners imposed several conditions. Among them: No anonymous bitcoin contributions will be allowed, and campaign treasurers must scrutinize the donations for “evidence of illegality.”
The U.S. Federal Election Commission appears to be warming to the idea of political donations in bitcoin, but has left the larger question of the upper value limit of such donations unresolved. The commission issued on Thursday an advisory opinion on bitcoin usage for a political action committee called Make Your Laws. The group asked the FEC if, in a given election cycle, properly identified contributors could each donate bitcoin worth up to $100, a limit set by that group. The six-member FEC, which is equally composed of Democrats and Republicans, advised that was fine. The commission determined in a vote that the group could also buy bitcoins from its donated funds for investment purposes but the bitcoins would have to be converted to cash before paying suppliers.