ATLANTA—The 2018 political season has ended, but would-be candidates and political parties already are building their war chests for the 2020 elections. But will cryptocurrency be a part of those fundraising plans?
Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Steve Middlebrook recently discussed the subject of cryptocurrency in political fundraising with CoinDesk, after Michigan’s Secretary of State barred cryptocurrency from being used for political donations. Middlebrook said such bans aren’t necessarily the end of the story, noting that campaigns already are able to accept “nonmonetary and in-kind contributions.”
“It’s unclear why that rule wouldn’t work for virtual currency contributions. The fact that the value of cryptocurrency or other goods donated to a campaign may fluctuate over time doesn’t sound like an insurmountable obstacle,” Middlebrook tells CoinDesk.
He also said the anonymous nature of some cryptocurrencies can be addressed if campaigns verify the identity of donors. He likened it to campaigns being able to accept donations of doughnuts and coffee, which also can be purchased anonymously.
“They just need to know who brought in the pastries,” Middlebrook said.
Steve Middlebrook has an extensive background in emerging payment technologies, prepaid and stored value products, mobile payments, web-based financial services, virtual currency and distributed ledger technology. His prior experience includes being General Counsel at two FinTech companies, and a decade’s service at the US Department of the Treasury. He also served as an advisor to the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) committee which drafted the Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act. The Uniform Act was recently approved by the ULC and is now being considered for adoption by a number of states.