How Bitcoin Is Making Waves In United States Political Campaigns

Ghazala Rizvi
By Ghazala Rizvi
Posted on Nov. 7, 2018
How Bitcoin Is Making Waves In United States Political Campaigns

Since 2009 when Bitcoin entered the virtual market, cryptocurrency has become the most popular trend. Although many experts do not keep much faith in it, the digital currency has experienced an exponential rise in 2017.

The funny thing is that now some politicians have decided to finance their election campaign using this method, accepting donations of Bitcoin and Ethereum because they are trying to demonstrate that their campaign is "different and innovative". It is really tough to think of something which brings the Republicans and Democrats together at the highly polarized political environment but apparently, cryptocurrencies are that rare thread of agreement. Today, when the use and focus of blockchains for government applications, healthcare, and different ownership represents a forward-thinking attitude toward all kinds of applications of the Blockchain, cryptocurrencies definitely seem to fit the bill.

According to a recent study, 60% of eligible voters believed that the same standards for monetary donations as the US dollar should be applied to cryptocurrency. It is also showing a significant bipartisan consistency in the views, with 63% self-declared Republicans and 52% of the self-declared Democrats agreeing. Both, 25% for Democrats and 27% for Republicans, would be more inclined to the donation to political campaigns if cryptocurrency was something they accepted.

Bitcoin is gaining popularity for political campaign donations. Political parties may be noticing the ups and downs that occur in Bitcoin a little more now as it could be the next frontier for increasing campaign contributions.

Austin Petersen, who is a Missouri Republican, received 24 Bitcoin as donations for his political campaign. It was valued of $9,700. This is the first ever donation in the history of federal elections, which was given in the form of any cryptocurrency. "I think it goes without saying that we're going to see a lot more of this in terms of campaign contributions and campaign financing," Jeff Carson, the campaign manager for Petersen's Senate bid, told ABC News. "Austin is personally a fan of competition in the marketplace, even when it comes to our currency," Carson said. "With the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it was a no-brainer for us to use those."

This is not the first ever political campaign in which people have given their support to cryptocurrency. As per the news published in The New York Times, Rand Paul during the 2016 presidential bid accepted Bitcoin. And even earlier, Jared Polis had accepted donations in the form of Bitcoin in the year 2014 for their congressional campaign. In that same year, the Federal Election Commission had announced that individuals can contribute to any political parties for their campaigning. 

Four years after their announcement, Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency for a political campaign is not a new thing.

According to the experts, the boom in the Crypto political campaigns is a natural progression which follows the popularity of cryptocurrencies. Shone Anstey, the executive chairman of Blockchain Intelligence Group, a risk analytics company for bitcoin-encrypted currencies, told ABC News that it was “inevitable.” “It certainly has taken off aggressively with the dramatic rise in the price of bitcoin,” Anstey said. “It’s also taken off aggressively with millennials who are glued to their phones and have taken to cryptocurrencies very naturally.”

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