New PAC Begins Accepting Bitcoin for Political Donations

Dan Joseph
By Dan Joseph | January 10, 2014 | 1:22 PM EST

A Political Action Committee (PAC) calling themselves Bit-PAC has become the first organization to solicit contributions in the form of the digital currency known as Bitcoin.

Last November, the Federal Elections Commission was split on whether or not to allow the virtual currency to be used in Federal elections.  The vote was split along party lines with the three Republicans on the commission voting to allow the use of Bitcoin in political campaigns and the three Democrats opposing the measure.

The initial request to allow Bitcoin donations was brought to the FEC by BitPAC founder Dan Backer, was dismissed due to the tie but the commission ruled that PACs could accept Bitcoin and provide them to candidates.  However, the candidates cannot spend the Bitcoins.  They must sell them for their cash value and can then use that money to fund their campaigns.

Despite the setback, Backer still believes that Bitcoin will play a large role in the future of campaign financing.

"This is the next logical iteration of democratization of the political process enabled by the Internet" wrote Backer in a Wednesday press release.

"Bitcoin is used by hundreds of thousands of law abiding American Citizens.  Our mission is to gain broad acceptance of Bitcoins as a fully legitimate currency and there's no better way to do that than aligning the interests of Bitcoin users with those of politicians."

Bitcoins are currently unregulated making them nearly impossible for banks and governments to trace.  As a result, use of the currency is heavily favored by many libertarians.

Currently, one Bitcoin is worth $820 US Dollars.