Political candidates in California will no longer be allowed to accept donations from supporters that have been made in cryptocurrencies as a result of new rules set out by the states political watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). The decision was allegedly taken to a vote, which concluded in a 3-1 decision against the acceptance of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency donations by candidates in California. The decision was made as the FPPC believe that cryptocurrency donations make it very difficult for authorities to trace who the donations came from and where they came from, reducing political transparency and leaving the candidates open to bribery. Interestingly, the decision made by the FPPC isn’t necessarily set in stone, according to Coindesk, a spokesperson from within the FPPC has said:
"There was extensive research by staff, input from stakeholders that was publicly displayed on our website and public debate among the Commission today and that is the decision rendered. As was publicly stated by many if not all of the Commissioners, there will be further debate and analysis in the coming months and years."
With this in mind, we can assume that the FPPC will be watching and analysing the cryptocurrency industry to see if there’s a way they can re-open up crypto donations for candidates in California. It seems that the FPPC do recognise the advantages of cryptocurrency, just at the moment, they are a little worried about the anonymity provided by them.Interestingly, according to CCN, today see’s the first Bitcoin donation made to a political candidate in Taiwan:
“The bitcoin donation was made to Hsiao Hsin-chen who is vying for a seat in Taipei City Council on a New Power Party ticket. The US$325 bitcoin donation comes after a month since the political candidate announced that he would be accepting cryptocurrency donations. Per Hsiao, the donation will have not only political implications but also technological ones as the adoption of cryptocurrency donations could assist in keeping the political system of Taiwan clean owing to the transparent and public nature of blockchain technology on which bitcoin is built.”
Is there room for Bitcoin in politics? I would say so. I think disregarding crypto donations is a bad thing and is something that might cause issues in the future within California in that, people will probably still make the donations and therefore political candidates may end up getting into more trouble than they need to.In order to become adoptable, Bitcoin needs to be used by as many people as possible, therefore adoption drives are sure to benefit from a culture that see’s Bitcoin used within political donations too. ReferencesCoindeskCCN