U.S. House of Representatives republican candidate for 1st Congressional District of Missouri, Dan Elder, announced that his election campaign will accept donations only in bitcoin.
The only option to fund his campaign, which began on July 11th, is to donate bitcoins via his website. The move is targeted at bringing more attention to the virtual currency.
Earlier in May, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) approved bitcoin donations (with a limit of $100), thus letting to use the cryptocurrency as a political tool. The decision was prompted by political action committees, who have viewed bitcoin contributions as a way to attract some media coverage.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Elder told that digital currencies represent a competitive force against traditional central banking, fiat currencies and a risky financial sector.
He said: “I’m accepting BTC donations to solely fund my campaign to take a stance against the Federal Reserve and its policies which have weakened the US dollar.”
Elder will become the first candidate in the United States, who will accept only virtual money for his campaign.
He first knew about bitcoin several years ago. During his career Elder was involved with the technology and participated in the Liberty Movement, the latter of which provided support for the cryptocurrency.
“I want to stand before Congress, sponsor and support competing currency legislation, and remove any legal confusion for US citizens wishing to use bitcoin. The IRS still sees bitcoin as property, not currency, and the FEC hasn’t decided how to treat bitcoin in regards to political campaigns. I want to deal with issues like these to make bitcoin a true competitor of the US dollar,” Elder said.
Such politicians as Jared Polis, an American entrepreneur and US Congressman, already included bitcoin for its fundraising. Steve Stockman, US representative and member of the Republican party, also started to accept bitcoin earlier this year and filed a virtual currency bill in Congress.
Although there is lack of bitcoin awareness among voting population, Elder expects to succeed in his decision. He also noted that the response has been enthusiastic since he first told about his bitcoin related idea.
“I’ve gotten only positive reactions and received great input from people, so I’m confident to fund the campaign at least as well as if I had relied solely on US dollar donations,” Elder said.
Elder intends to “bring more public attention to this new, open, less-regulated currency”. He thinks bitcoin should be used like US dollar or other fiat currencies.
Elder said that if he won’t win the elections for the seat in the 1st District, his campaign will provide more attention to bitcoin.