California Considers Lifting Ban on Crypto Donations for Political Campaigns



California’s state regulator – Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) – will consider allowing the use of cryptocurrencies for political campaign donations four years after banning them.

Potential Law Amendments

During its most recent Commission Meeting, the FPPC disclosed it had arranged a “pre-notice discussion” where it will contemplate whether to enable digital asset political donations in the state. The conversation will be held later this week (May 19):

“The proposed regulations and amendments are presented for discussion and direction by the Commission and will be presented for adoption at a subsequent meeting. The Commission will review and discuss potential sponsored and other legislation, The Commission will provide direction on future legislation to be sought by the agency.”

Local watchdogs prohibited sending and receiving cryptocurrency donations for political campaigns in September 2018. Back then, the regulators argued it is hard to track the origin of such contributions, compromising the transparency of one’s candidacy.

Banning crypto donations for political parties is a policy imposed by others, too. Last month, the authorities of Ireland did the same, citing fears of Russian intervention. Several reports suggested that oligarchs part of Putin’s inner cycle have begun utilizing bitcoin and altcoins to avoid the monetary sanctions enforced by the West.

Irish Government Minister – Darragh O’Brien – believes the prohibition of crypto contributions in political campaigns could “protect against malicious online interference while also overhauling political funding laws to prevent foreign interference in how parties or individuals are financially supported.”

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California’s Governor and Crypto-Friendly Executive Order

Earlier this month, the Governor of California – Gavin Newsom – issued an executive order on cryptocurrencies. The legislation should lay out a road map for establishing a regulatory framework for the sector and grant more investor protection. Furthermore, it explores how digital assets and the underlying blockchain technology can be incorporated with California businesses.

Addressing the move was Dee Dee Myers – Senior Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom. In her view, the Western state is a top location for crypto-related firms and domestic lawmakers will aim to support their efforts by establishing welcoming legislation:

“Of the 800 blockchain businesses in North America, about a quarter of them are in California, dramatically more than any other state. We’ve heard from so many that they want to be here, and we want to help them do that responsibly.”

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