Digital currencies have the potential to make politics in Ireland more transparent. That’s what political candidate Ossian Smyth thinks, anyway.
The hopeful is running for a local election in the Dún Laoghaire town just over 7 miles south of Dublin’s city center, and he’s making a splash in the crypto-currency community by announcing he’s accepting bitcoin for his campaign.
This effectively makes Smyth the first in Ireland to do so.
Smyth is running for the Green Party, and his experience in the technology field is extensive, having worked for Microsoft and Citibank as an IT consultant.
He’s also a mentor at the local CoderDojo — a free-of-charge coding club for the youth.
So why bitcoin donations?
“I think it is one of the most transparent ways of receiving donations,” he said to Silicon Republic. “No one would know how much money can be donated into a bank account, but with bitcoin anyone can go to the block chain and look at the wallet.”
The maximum amount Smyth would be able to raise is €11,700 per regulation, which translates to about 30 BTC, so it won’t be terribly difficult to keep track if he publicizes one address.
“Over the next six weeks, the public will be able to see every transaction using Blockchain.info,” he said.
Smyth isn’t the only politico looking to raise funds for his campaign using digital currency. Earlier this year, we learned that Texas Representative Steve Stockman would be accepting bitcoin donations for a Senate run.
Most recently, Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott also announced he’d be accepting bitcoin donations for his campaign.
Could it be the start of something new in the world of political campaigns? You decide.