The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has unanimously approved the use of Bitcoin for political donations after months of debate on the issue. Commissioners imposed several conditions. Among them: No anonymous bitcoin contributions will be allowed, and campaign treasurers must scrutinize the donations for "evidence of illegality."
Jim Harper, global policy counsel of the industry's Bitcoin Foundation, said the FEC's move lends further legitimacy to the computer-generated currency. "It's another part of the growing body of regulation that establishes bitcoin as a co-equal part of the financial services system."
Political observers say they expect bitcoin's use to be embraced first by candidates cultivating voters in tech-savvy circles where the currency first gained acceptance. "You may not see a lot of establishment candidates in the parties" rushing to accept the currency just yet, said Michael Toner, a Washington campaign-finance lawyer and a former FEC chairman.