So here’s an interesting story originally reported by CoinDesk this evening.
Eight members of Congress are expected to receive $250 worth of bitcoin my mail in the coming days, a move that’s designed to expose them to the world of digital currency.
It’s the doing of BitPAC, an organization launched early this year that hopes to “further democratization of currency” through financial contributions to politicos. That makes the PAC — or political action committee — part of their name make a whole lot more sense.
Here’s their mission statement, pulled from their website:
[blockquote style=”2″]Our mission is to raise awareness of the concerns within the BitCoin community by making the largest lawful contributions in Bitcoin to key legislators of both parties so that they have a tactile experience with Bitcoin and gain mainstream acceptance as a form of currency without external government interference. By raising funds, both in Bitcoins and cash, Bitcoin PAC will ensure that legislators know there is support for expanding the number of Americans who can get involved in campaigns to support the candidates they want, how they want. Bitcoins have enabled the next logical iteration of democratization of the political process enabled by the Internet.[/blockquote]
The chosen ones
So just which congressmen and women will receive the funds? They are:
- Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
- Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)
- Jared Polis (D-Colorado)
- Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)
- Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin)
- Charles Schumer (D-New York)
- Maxine Waters (D-California)
- Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)
BitPAC’s founder, Dan Backer, says he’s provided each of the politicians with a paper wallet to get them going. He told CoinDesk:
[blockquote style=”2″]I think whomever on their staff gets [the paper wallet] will scratch their head. It’ll go up the ladder, someone will call the FEC which will be of no help, and someone will decide that money is money and they will accept and liquidate the transaction.[/blockquote]
It’s a bright idea, and Backer chose the amount of $250 specifically because it’s $50 higher than the limit at which politicians must begin collection the names of entities who have donated. In other words, leaving a mark.
And since the FED (Federal Election Committee) has said previously that bitcoin donations are fine, there’s not real issue here in terms of legalities.
Whether or not the offices of each respective politician take the time to convert the bitcoin to dollars is another story altogether.