The Wisconsin Ethics Commission has asked the state Legislator to decide on allowing campaign contributions to be made in digital currency, reports Associated Press (AP).
The Washington Times reports that the chairmen of Senate and Assembly elections committees have been asked to “provide clarity to candidates and committees as to whether they may accept contributions of cryptocurrency.” On Friday the commission’s administrator requested that the chairman of Senate and Assembly elections to address the issue which has been in the pipeline for some time.
Wisconsin Libertarian Party Chairman Phil Anderson at an early meeting on Tuesday also asked to allow bitcoin donations, citing the increasing popularity of virtual currencies. A barrier until now has been bitcoin’s fluctuating value making it difficult for campaigns, bound by limits on how much money they can accept from individual donors.
BTCManager reports that US states are still skeptical in allowing digital currency as campaign contributions. Anderson’s suggestion of in-kind conversions of bitcoin at the point of receipt is already being adopted by legislators in both Washington D.C. and Montana. Kansas has rejected the proposal, and California legislators have advised against it.
In March of this year a Republican party runner from Missouri, Austin Petersen, received 24 bitcoins in his campaign, making it the largest single amount received by a candidate in cryptocurrency. It’s suggested that his age played a part, at 37 being more accepting and less distrusting of new technology. He commented:
“As someone who strongly believes in deregulating money, it was a natural fit for me to accept Bitcoin for my campaign and I’m more than delighted to be the US record holder for the largest donation to a candidate in US history.”
The situation can be different overseas; in Russia for example, Alexei Navalny, who ran against Vladimir Putin prior to his reelection, is reported to have received $6 million donations to his campaign in bitcoin.