This isn’t especially newsworthy, except for the fact that it’s an interesting piece of commentary on how the new economy – as manifested in other things like Uber, AirBnB, Prosper.com and Angie’s List – is penetrating the political space.
Louisiana’s Republican Party is taking donations in Bitcoin now. The press release…
The Republican Party of Louisiana made history when it announced Wednesday that it has became the first major state political party in the United States to accept bitcoin donations.
“We are always looking for ways to reach and engage our supporters,” LAGOP Executive Director Jason Doré said. “For us, this is also about living out our party’s principles. As a party, we embrace innovation, the free market and oppose inflationary monetary policy. All of these principles are embodied in bitcoin.”
The Federal Election Commission issued an advisory opinion in May, opening the door for federal candidates and committees to begin accepting bitcoin donations. LAGOP worked with BitPolitic.com to develop a system for collecting donations that ensures compliance with all federal laws.
“BitPolitic is excited to bring the Republican Party of Louisiana into the bitcoin ecosystem with BitPay,” BitPolitic developer Grant Bourque said. “The Republican Party of Louisiana is the first major state party to accept bitcoin donations. They are leading the way in embracing innovation and the future of payment technology.”
How does it work?
Donations made at LAGOP.com/bitcoin-donate are processed by a third-party organization that instantly converts the bitcoin payment into U.S. dollars that are then added to LAGOP bank account like any other donation. Regular federal reporting and donor information requirements are adhered to in the same way as traditional contributions.
It’s unlikely this will result in a flood of Bitcoin donations, and politically it’s probably neutral. The Democrats might make a few cracks about how dealers in black-tar heroin are now going to be donating to the LAGOP, but in a month they’ll be doing the same thing.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is the possibility it shows that despite all the proclamations of Bitcoin’s demise from earlier this year after a couple of the Bitcoin exchanges developed some, ahem, problems, it seems to be surviving. Particularly if other state parties begin to follow suit.