The blockchain research company Clovr has recently surveyed over a thousand of registered US voters, to see how they feel about political donations in digital currencies. A number of aspects including safety and stability were touched upon by the researchers. The gathered data shows that Americans’ acceptance of using crypto to fund political campaigns is growing perhaps more than you would have predicted.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has hindered crypto donations since 2014, ruling that bitcoin could only be accepted as an “in-kind” donation, capping its value at $100. BTC was trading at around $450 at the time. Today we have bitcoin trading at around $6300, accompanied by more than 2,000 other digital assets on the market.
Cryptos are stable and secure and should be treated equally to USD
The US law permits donations In both cryptocurrencies and USD but the two are definitely not equal. Cash, credit card transactions or checks are all valid methods of donating US dollars for your favoured politician in the States. However, the “in-kind” donation means that it can only consist of “subsidized rent, donated items, equipment, supplies, or other miscellaneous items.“ Making the situation worse is the unreasonable $100 limit, clearly showing the inequality between crypto and fiat.
According to the Clovr data, 60 percent of voters think that both forms of currency should be treated the same in federal election, while only 21 percent felt otherwise. Also, 25 percent of voters said they would be more likely to contribute to a campaign if crypto donation was an option.
Security remains one of the most issues for the crypto sphere, however most US voters (54 percent) believe that virtual currencies are already secure enough for political donations, with 26 percent saying the opposite. Unsurprisingly, respondents, who reported to be knowledgeable about digital assets were even more optimistic, with 73 percent of them claiming that security is not an issue.
Volatility has been another major concern with most cryptocurrencies shedding 60-70 percent of their price since the turn of the year. 42 percent of voters said that digital currencies are stable enough, with 35 claiming the contrary. Curiously, Republicans were more favourable towards cryptos, with 52 percent of them being assured of their stability, compared to 40 percent of Democrats.
Some concerns remain
Nonetheless, US voters believe that despite their benefits, cryptocurrencies can also increase some risks. 66 percent of respondents said that digital currencies in the political system would increase the likelihood of foreign interference in the election. Furthermore, 62 percent of voters said that crypto is more likely to be used illegally, compared to USD.
The majority of respondents also think that parties and politicians would use the lax regulation on crypto donations to their advantage. The survey results clearly show that Republicans are more in favour of crypto donations than Democrats, with the representatives of the Grand Old Party leaning towards digital assets more than their rivals in each category.
However, the researchers say that, “Only two states, Tennessee and Virginia, have seriously considered legislation that allows donors to use digital currencies. Tennessee is the only state to enact legislation, and the language in the statute is somewhat vague. […] Cryptocurrency advocates are encouraging the FEC and any state that considers legislation to place digital currencies on the same level as U.S. dollars. That’s exactly what the Tennessee statute has done, which sets a good example for other states to follow.“
Photo by Aaron Schwartz from Pexels
I have been following the crypto markets since mid 2017, just in time to witness the incredible surge of the digital asset industry. Fascinated by the potential of blockchain technology I’ve started to dig deeper and that’s how I ended up meeting the Toshi Times team. I hold a Political Science degree, therefore the crypto regulation development is particularly interesting for me. I’m also heavily involved with music, running my own label, a YouTube channel and working with distribution. People call blockchain the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and I believe it will change our daily lives in the coming years and we will have the front row seats to witness it.