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FEC says political committees can accept bitcoin donations

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The Federal Election Commission today unanimously gave its approval for political committees to accept donations in bitcoin. In a 6-0 decision, the FEC said campaigns can accept BTC donations worth $100 or less, which currently works out to a fraction of a single bitcoin. Even with the $100 limit, it's a significant boost for the virtual currency and opens the door to bitcoin being embraced by PACs across the US. The commission says that committees should value BTC contributions "based on the market value of bitcoins at the time the contribution is received." The topic of bitcoin is one the FEC has been grappling with for some time.

Anyone kicking in bitcoin will need to submit their name, address, occupation, and employer according to a Make Your Laws PAC document filed today. They'll also need to pledge that the money isn't coming from a foreign national. A political committee may also "purchase bitcoins with funds from its campaign depository for investment purposes," the panel said, adding that crypto-currency donations must be converted into US dollars before they're deposited in campaign accounts. However, as Politico notes, the vote merely serves as guidance rather than a binding regulation. Even before today's decision, a number of politicians have already taken bitcoin contributions and vowed to support the currency.