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Bitcoin The Almighty Buck United States Politics

Bitcoin Donations To US Campaigns Might Soon Be Allowed 144

Posted by timothy
from the non-denominational dept.
SonicSpike writes with this excerpt from Politico: "Political campaigns will be allowed to accept — but not spend — the digital currency Bitcoin, under a proposed federal rule released Thursday. The Federal Election Commission draft would require campaigns to first convert any Bitcoins collected as donation to dollars. According to the proposal, the currency will count as an 'in-kind' contribution to a campaign — like a stock or bond. The FEC will not consider them currency. Campaigns are permitted to accept non-monetary contributions like stocks, private stocks, commodities, and equipment— but must list their value in dollars on campaign finance reports. Attorneys for Conservative Action Fund PAC asked the agency in September to decide if and how political candidates and outside groups are allowed to use the digital currency, in addition to U.S. dollars. "
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Bitcoin Donations To US Campaigns Might Soon Be Allowed

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  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 09, 2013 @07:14AM (#45376265)

    Good. But still bad. Great for Bitcoins. A big shame that donations are allowed at all.

    • So you think that only people who are already rich should run for office?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        news flash dumbass... 99% of government is governed by the rich. The one with the most money wins most the time. Get money out of politics.
        • Do we also restrain speech because everything is politics and freedom of the press belongs to the owners of the presses?

          • by Cryacin (657549)
            At least it won't be the first time that bitcoins are used for murder.
            • The only thing bitcoins have going for them is that nobody's bothered to regulate them properly yet.

              Apart from that, they're something way less convenient than pretty much any first world currency or precious metal.

              • Less convenient than fiat, of course, fiat has had an infrastructure being built around if for quite some time. If bitcoin continues to hold it's own eventually there will me more convenient ways to use it. Less convenient than gold or silver? I can't think of one way that is true.
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  Gold ownership doesn't mean having to carry around the gold, just having some evidence that you own it.

                  And if you lose that evidence, well, at least there's a record elsewhere to confirm it.

                  You lose your bitcoin, and it's lost.

                  • Gold ownership doesn't mean having to carry around the gold, just having some evidence that you own it.

                    If you are talking about some sort of bond or note backed by gold, well there is nothing stopping one from doing the same with bitcoin. A company that holds bitcoins can take your info and provide you with an "IOU x bitcoins". So we'll call it a tie in that scenario. Now if you want the security of personally owning your bitcoins(keys), then yes, if you lose them... they are lost... same for gold. <snark>Of course you could pull out your backup of you gold you had in another location</snark>

                    I'

                  • by ultranova (717540)

                    Gold ownership doesn't mean having to carry around the gold, just having some evidence that you own it.

                    And if you lose that evidence, well, at least there's a record elsewhere to confirm it.

                    So how does that work? You give me a voucher to some amount of gold? Except that's not enough, the record needs to be updated too. In fact, since I always have to contact the record, we can as well not bother with the vouchers, since they don't accomplish anything; and in fact there's no point in keeping gold in a vault

            • by tompaulco (629533)

              At least it won't be the first time that bitcoins are used for murder.

              Can you go ahead and rattle off a couple of examples of bitcoin being used for murder? Oh, and the silk road thing doesn't count, because nobody was actually murdered.

            • Yes because nobody has ever held people hostage, decapitated, or committed mass killings for the good ol' dollar.

              Oh and did you know that most dollar bills carry trace amounts of cocaine and meth, in spite of new ones always being put into circulation and old ones being destroyed?

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contaminated_currency [wikipedia.org]

              I think it's probably safe to say that bitcoin hasn't been used for as much illegal activity as the dollar has in the same time period (even though that may simply be due to it bein

      • Unlike now.

        • Many successful political parties were created through the union movement in Europe.

          That was just a bunch of working men and women throwing money into a pot.

          It's not about the money, but the propaganda.

          • by femtobyte (710429)

            And about access to platforms to spread your propaganda, which is often based on... the money. In the US, the wealthy hold near complete sway over the entire media, so "news" consists of one multimillionaire bashing another for not hating unions quite enough. Working-class political movements got their voices out through things like Labor newspapers; good luck finding those in wide circulation in the US. For a while before the 'net caught on in the wide mainstream, there was opportunity for freer discussion

      • No, but I don't consider a government-for-sale a good idea either.

        I prefer the model our country has: Get more than 2% (IIRC) of the votes and get reimbursed by tax money for your campaign expenses. Not a perfect model either, but I prefer to pay my politicians myself instead of letting corporations do it.

      • So you think that is good that people can only get there owning favors to rich people?
      • False dichotomy. The government should provide public campaign financing with reasonable rules as to who can access the funds.

        • Who sets the rules?

          What if you have 1000 people asking for a share of the funds, is it a net benefit to dilute the pool by splitting it evenly, or do we say the crazy guy who mumbles and can't put a sentence together does not qualify?

          If one person does not qualify, where do we draw a fair line?

          How do we set up a system to resist complaints analogous to gerrymandering, where the people who decide the rules seem fair but are manipulated into giving a predetermined answer by apparently unrelated rules?

          If the

          • by TheSpoom (715771)

            God, you mention a possible solution to corruption and people start complaining "but there are so many variables!" Yes, yes there are. Politics is complicated.

            If we're going to block every idea because it's not simple enough, we're simply going to be paralyzed, and I'm not a fan of that course of action.

    • by denzacar (181829)

      Having had to clean up a couple of computers from an infection by a bitcoin mining malware, I don't think that it is a good idea for any organization to accept donations in bitcoin.

      Unlike with government-backed currency, which at worst can be earned through criminal enterprise (which does not change its status as legal tender), the VALUE and the particular bitcoin itself can be A criminal enterprise.
      The mining I.e. creation of the coin being a crime, not a mere product of a crime like money earned from grow

      • Unlike with government-backed currency, which at worst can be earned through criminal enterprise (which does not change its status as legal tender), the VALUE and the particular bitcoin itself can be A criminal enterprise.

        No. This does not rise to the level that it really even needs a rebuttal, but I will leave you with one other thing to ponder: email.

        Even better, imagine a Daily Mail article with a photo of someone's grandma being all old and dad cause het power bill grew exponentially before her computer died and a title like "Greenpeace donators suspected of robbing the elderly!"

        Did you think that this was in any way representative of reality? Kill yourself before your idiocy spreads. The last fucking thing we need is more tabloid garbage spreading propaganda just because you are so incompetent that you struggle to get rid of a simple botnet.

        • by denzacar (181829)

          Wow! You make no sensible comment or claim AND your arguments are all ad hominems.
          Your mom must be proud.

          By proud I mean she killed herself cause she couldn't stand bringing such a sorry excuse for a biped to the world.

  • "Because the value of the currency floats, campaigns will have to be careful not to accept donations above federal campaign contribution limits."

    LOLOL. At the present rate of the amazing bitcoin rally in action ($100 rise in less than 2 days!), that seems like quite an INTERESTING problem to solve.

    What if it's over the limits? Can they return the excess?

  • Equal Opportunity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 09, 2013 @07:27AM (#45376301)

    Congress will take bribes from anyone.

    • The good news is that now that the congresscritters will have Bitcoin of their own, so they'll have a vested interest in helping it become a legal and legitimate currency. That way, they can spend it on attack ads against their opponents in 2016 :)

      Don't forget that there are still a lot of banksters out there who are still trying to outlaw Bitcoin transactions in the US, using sites like Silk Road as an example on why it shouldn't be adopted as a mainstream currency. The potential loss of credit card transa

      • by mark_reh (2015546)

        When consumer protection laws apply to bitcoins it may have a chance of becoming a viable alternative. I know that if someone screws with my Amex or Visa account, I will not be on the hook for more than $50. If someone steals my bitcoins I am screwed, period.

        No thanks. I'll continue to take my chances on $US.

        • How would they steal it when it is encrypted?

        • by ultranova (717540)

          I know that if someone screws with my Amex or Visa account, I will not be on the hook for more than $50. If someone steals my bitcoins I am screwed, period.

          No thanks. I'll continue to take my chances on $US.

          Protip: US dollars are the paper slips with pictures of dead people on them people keep in their wallet, not the rounded plastic rounded rectangle that says "Visa". If someone steals the dollars, you've lost them, period.

          The plastic rectangle is called a "credit card". It's not a dollar, nor any other t

          • by mark_reh (2015546)

            Well excuse me. OK, if someone steals the money out of my bank account, it gets replaced by the FDIC. When bitcoin has a guarantor like the FDIC I'll reconsider. Until then, pfffft!

            Like my credit cards, if someone steals the money out of my wallet I usually won't be out more than $50 either.

            Credit cards will get you into trouble only if you don't use them properly. No, they don't come with instructions and yes, you need a certain amount of common sense, and yes, there's a very short supply of that these

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        The good news is that now that the congresscritters will have Bitcoin of their own, so they'll have a vested interest in helping it become a legal and legitimate currency. That way, they can spend it on attack ads against their opponents in 2016 :)

        What makes it illegitimate? People are accepting it as trade for products and services, which is just as legitimate as many other quasi-currencies out there.

        Of course, Congress-critters would LOVE bitcoin because of its anonymous nature. Send any amount of cash an

    • Congress will take bribes from anyone.

      Especially relatively untraceable anonymous bribes like bitcoin would be.

      Fucking scumbags.

  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Saturday November 09, 2013 @08:24AM (#45376487) Journal

    with the likes of those who operate the silk road. "in-kind" contribution? Sounds about right to me.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Indeed. Bitcoin, like party politics, is enjoyed by people who are out of their mind and should be out of the question.

    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      Last time I checked, bitcoins don't have actual traces of cocaine, only figurative ones.
  • Wow, this may be one of the first bitcoin services I had no intention of ever using right out of the gate. I would feel better about.... paying for a murder directly than funding some asshat to go cause mass murders.

    • I would feel better about.... paying for a murder directly than funding some asshat to go cause mass murders.

      I take it you don't pay your taxes then? Got WMD?

  • I find it very interesting that this news comes after the FBI shut down Silk Road, and obtained a rather large wallet. Anyone hear any news of that wallet being decrypted? If not, anyone know who's working on it? In any case, I'll be watching to see who ends up with a rather large amount of bitcoin donations...
    • What's to decrypt? The government has the wallet, which just means that they have the private keys and can manage the bitcoins.
      • I believe the wallet itself was encrypted. I could be wrong -- I didn't pay much attention to the story at the time (Silk Road busted -- surprise, and Yet Another BitCoin Story), but I'm fairly certain I remember something about the founder having encrypted his wallet file. I'll go back and re-read the stories later, but my main point was that I find it interesting the government confiscates a bunch of bitcoins that are worth a decent penny, and now suddenly they're thinking of allowing bitcoin donations.
  • The government is sitting on millions of dollars of Bitcoin seized successfully from the Dread Pirate Roberts' Silk Road shutdown. What a perfect way to put this money back in circulation; political manipulation!

  • Election funds are a money pit.

    I can think of no better way to drain the value of bitcoins
    and line the pockets of elected officials brothers in law.

    Most corruption is the vast media funds where art and air
    time are purchased through family shills.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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