U.S. Congressional Republicans Seem Keen on Crypto

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  • NRCC will begin accepting political contributions in the form of cryptocurrencies.
  • It remains to be seen if there are any potential election law issues that could arise.

According to media reports, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) will begin accepting political contributions in the form of cryptocurrencies – becoming the first major national party in the world to take this step. As first reported by Axios, the NRCC plans to use BitPay as the processing clearinghouse of digital donations going forward.

With BitPay as an intermediary, the crypto-funds will be converted into U.S. dollars, which will then be transferred to the NRCC coffers.

While there was no official statement or press release of the shift to accept digital currency contributions on its website, the NRCC Twitter handle did post this GIF along with a retweet of a link to the Axios story on Wednesday, June 16th.

NRCC Chairman and Congressman from Minnesota, Tom Emmers, made the push toward accepting crypto contributions for the conservative group. During his 2020 reelection effort, Emmers announced last summer that his campaign would also rely on BitPay to process donations in its supported cryptocurrencies.
Currently, BitPay accepts the following cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and 5 USD-pegged stablecoins (GUSD, USDC, PAX, DAI, and BUSD) – noting that they only accept ERC20 stablecoins on the ETH network.

While novel in its approach, neither the NRCC nor Emmers were the first politicos to accept cryptos. Back in 2015, Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky accepted Bitcoin as part of his failed bid for the White House. And during last year’s election, both Democrat congressional candidates Andrew Yang and Eric Salwell of California also accepted cryptocurrency donations during their presidential campaigns.

On the Flipside

  • While encouraging to see a national political party embracing cryptocurrencies, it remains to be seen if there are any potential election law issues that could arise.
  • Because the NRCC doesn’t take direct ownership of the crypto, they’re able to sidestep the current $100 U.S. contribution limit on crypto donations. By converting the coins to U.S. dollars first, individuals are allowed to contribute up to $10,000 annually – that’s significantly higher and may be enough to get Democrats to cry foul.

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    Author

    Tor Constantino is a former journalist, consultant and current corporate comms executive with an MBA degree and 25+ years of experience - writing about cryptocurrencies and blockchain since 2017. His writing has appeared across the web on Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune, CEOWorld and Yahoo!. Tor's views are his own and do not reflect those of his current employer.