The Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance, last week, offered guidance on the ability to accept contributions in Bitcoins. Via an advisory opinion(PDF), OCPF told the Massachusetts Pirate Party PAC that Bitcoins are an acceptable method of donation to a political committee and answered some questions. This is a sure sign that cryptocurrency is becoming a more significant competitor to its non-digital counterparts. Whether it’s understanding that Bitcoin Revolution has two work modes (or Bitcoin Revolution heeft twee werkmodi as the Dutch would say) or it’s finding how Bitcoin can play a part in various industries, there is a lot to learn, especially if this is all new.
With that being said, there are sites like Bitcoin.co.uk that anyone interested in this industry can check out and keep up to date with all things to do with cryptocurrency. Those of you based in Australia might prefer Bitcoin Australia. This may be a sign that investment in the field is finally a lucrative option. It is recommended that you read bitcoin reviews if you are thinking of investing, as it is still the strongest form of e-currency out there.
The questions asked and answered by OCPF were:
QUESTION 1 – May a political committee accepts contributions in the form of Bitcoins?
A: Yes, a political committee may accept contributions in Bitcoins, subject to the same disclosure requirements and source and limit restrictions applicable to all contributions made under the campaign finance law.
More after the jump
QUESTION 2 – If a political committee accepts Bitcoin contributions, how should those contributions be valued and reported?
A: A political committee must liquidate all Bitcoins within 5 days of receipt by exchanging the Bitcoins for U.S. currency through a high-volume public Bitcoin exchange open to transactions in the U.S. The Committee must then immediately deposit the money received as a result of the liquidation and report the receipt of a monetary contribution on the day the Bitcoins are liquidated from teh individual who contributed the Bitcoins. The contribution must be reported as the gross amount for which the Bitcoins are echanged, before any fees are paid or deducted. All echange or transaction fees must be paid by the candidate or committee and reported separately as either an expenditure (for all non-depository candidates and committees) or as a negative receipt (for all depository candidates and committees).
In the discussion section OCPF goes on to state that if the Bitcoins rose in value in those five days you would need to refund the difference to the donor. I.E. if the Bitcoins were worth $450 on the day of the donation, but became worth $550 on the day of the redemption $50 would need to be returned to the donor.
QUESTION 3 – May a committee use Bitcoins to purchase goods or services from vendors or merchants?
A: No, candidates and committees may not use Bitcoins to make ependitures in any amount. The campaign finance law requires committees to use committee checks for all expenditures in ecess of $50. In addition, because committees are requried to liquidate all Bitcoins received, they may no hold Bitcoins to make any purchases less than $50, nor may candidates or committees purchase Bitcoins to pay vendors for goods or services less than $50.
If you have Bitcoin, you can use it to donate.