Rand Paul, Republican presidential candidate and libertarian senator from Kentucky, plans to attend an event dedicated to digital currency and arranged by Blockchain Technologies Corp. The event will take place on April 19 at the Union League Club.
Earlier, Rand Paul made an announcement that his supporters have the option of making donations to his campaign using the digital currency Bitcoin.
About a year ago, the Federal Elections Commission approved an advisory opinion that found campaigns could accept Bitcoin donations subject to valuation and reporting procedures.
Rand Paul’s website Stand With Rand will certainly accept traditional payment methods such as credit cards and the online service PayPal. However, so far he remains the first declared candidate in the 2016 race to fund his White House bid with digital currency.
“The novelty of the payment method is likely to help Mr. Paul highlight his edgy appeal to other libertarians, tech-savvy voters, young people and others who favor Bitcoins. But it also raises questions about whether illegal contributions could make their way into campaigns more easily,” states the New York Times.
Rand Paul was in his home state of Kentucky to launch his 2016 White House bid. The campaign website went live to coincide with the launch. According to the information posted on the website’s donation page, individuals are allowed to contribute up to $2,700 per election cycle.
In fact, bitcoins cannot be traced if the owner wants to stay unknown, so accepting them, political candidates must rely on donors’ disclosing their identity.
The transactions are being handled by BitPay, which means the candidate may not be holding onto any of the Bitcoin supporters donate. BitPay offers the option to immediately convert payments into dollars, which are deposited into a conventional bank account. Mr. Rand is exceeding Bitcoin donations at $100. Individuals who want to give more than that amount have to pay using credit cards or the online service PayPal.
“Part of the message he’s sending out to the tech community [is] that, ‘I want to be close to you,’” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association. “And part of it is that he sees a naturally ally there in terms of fundraising and messaging, and I think it will be well-received,” reports Politico.
Rand Paul’s campaign slogan is: “Defeat the Washington Machine.” Being a libertarian, he supports a flat income tax, cutting government spending to balance the budget, decreasing the authority of the Federal Reserve and preserving personal liberties.