The National Republican Congressional Committee has become the first national party committee to solicit bitcoin donations.
According to Axios, the Republican Party's U.S. House of Representatives campaign division will start accepting contributions in bitcoin, making the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) the first U.S. party committee to accept BTC donations.
"We are focused on pursuing every avenue possible to further our mission of stopping Nancy Pelosi's socialist agenda and retaking the House majority, and this innovative technology will help provide Republicans the resources we need to succeed," NRCC chairman Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) told Axios.
The NRCC intends to process the donations using BitPay, a cryptocurrency payment service provider, and would apparently accept donations in a variety of different cryptocurrencies. The politicians chose the payment processor to instantly convert to dollars before the cryptocurrency donations land in the NRCC account. Therefore, the committee will not be holding bitcoin, but is instead seeking to provide more donating options to its contributors.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) had approved in 2014 that "a committee can receive bitcoins as contributions." However, per that ruling, individual contributions would be limited to $100 worth of bitcoin. By liquidating any bitcoin and receiving only the dollar equivalent amount in its account, the NRCC believes it will be able to accept individual donations of up to $10,000 per year.
NRCC chairman Emmer is also co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and a House Financial Services Committee member. The bipartisan caucus was formed by members of Congress and staff who believe in the future of blockchain technology and the active role Congress has to play in its development and support. Emmer has also recently pressed the IRS to ease regulations on cryptocurrency donations.
Although the NRCC is opening up for new avenues of donations, it said that it "will diligently gather identifying information from all individuals who use crypto to donate,” per Axios. The move likely reflects the recent concerns the FEC has expressed on alleged tensions between federal transparency and the anonymity that some cryptocurrencies supposedly provide.
Nonetheless, it is interesting that mainstream politicians, at a national level, are open to this avenue of fundraising. Hopefully, the FEC and associated committees eventually realize Bitcoin's true potential and the possible benefits of HODLing bitcoin donations — instead of liquidating them for dollars upon receipt.