California residents can soon donate cryptocurrency to state and local campaigns

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July 22, 2022, 2:19 PM

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California is lifting its ban on political donations using cryptocurrency, opening the door for residents to donate Bitcoin and other digital money to state and local political campaigns.

The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission voted Thursday to reverse a four-year ban on cryptocurrency donations. California was previously one of nine states to explicitly ban the practice, according to a FPPC staff report on the matter. With the new ruling, California joins 12 states, plus Washington D.C., in explicitly allowing the practice of cryptocurrency donations.

The commission stipulates that all campaigns must immediately convert cryptocurrency donations into U.S. dollars. FPPC rules stipulate campaigns use a registered, United States-based cryptocurrency processor to do so.

The change will only affect state and local campaigns, as federal regulations already allow cryptocurrency donations to national campaigns.

All cryptocurrency transactions are recorded digitally using blockchain technology, rather than a standard banking process. FPPC mandates that California campaigns use a cryptocurrency processor that will record the name, address, employer and occupation of donors. This would prevent those who donate from having any more privacy than a contributor using normal currency.

The FPPC’s change will go into effect within the next 60 days.

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