In the same breath, government officials list bitcoin as a potential threat to national security, but if you wish to fund political committees, they will accept cash, credit, check, and bitcoin, the digital currency they can’t control.On Thursday, May 8th, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) voted in favor of accepting bitcoin as payment in support of political committees.Unlike like last fall, when officials hesitated to allow bitcoin donations, this year they quickly passed the measure 6-0. The vote also allows political action committee (PAC) members to purchase and sell bitcoins, but officials must convert them to U.S. dollars before depositing them into a campaign account.It’s unclear what changed the minds of FEC members. Citing the possibility for contributors donating in bitcoin to conceal their identity, FEC officials delayed approval, saying they needed more time to “study the issue and develop a formal policy to govern the use of bitcoins in campaigns.”Still, despite non-existent bitcoin regulations, FEC members quickly passed the measure unanimously. A decision has not yet been reached regarding the maximum dollar amount that will be accepted, however, an advisory opinion request by Make Your Laws (MYL) PAC asked to accept increments up to $100."The $100 limit was really important to us," said Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, a Democratic appointee."We have to balance a desire to accommodate innovation, which is a good thing, with a concern that we continue to protect transparency in the system and ensure that foreign money doesn't seep in.”Weintraub’s statement is interesting.The only time the government appreciates “transparency” is when it’s directed at the public, and not them. One of the government’s biggest complaints about bitcoin is its lacking transparency, which some call privacy, or freedom.Wachovia and other Big Central banks caught funding the drug war were anything but transparent, yet the government never pursued criminal charges against them. Instead, the government merely gave them a slap on the wrist in the form of a fine substantially smaller than what the bank earned illegally.
The bitcoin group behind FEC’s vote
Make Your Laws (MYL) PAC, the group behind the FEC measure, is a pro-bitcoin group divided into three different organizations, a PAC, a Super PAC, and a non-profit.“The group, based in Durham, North Carolina, was founded by Sai (who only goes by one name),” reported vocativ.Politicians with strong libertarian supporters are expected to be among the first to accept bitcoin. Officials accepting the digital currency will be required to report their bitcoin values on the day contributions are received.MYL noted, in order to prevent anonymous donations, if the contribution cannot be determined “to be from a legal source, the treasurer must refund the contribution within 30 days of the receipt of the deposit or the discovery of the illegality.”The committee’s decision is the first to be made by a government agency regarding the use of bitcoin. The ruling will be subject for future amendments since it’s not yet a binding law or regulation.