Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for the Golden State voted 3-1 to prohibit anyone running for office in the U.S. state of California from receiving donations in cryptocurrencies because it is difficult to track the origin of such donations and there are concerns related to political transparency when cryptocurrency is used for these donations.
The decision followed "extensive research," discussion with stakeholders, and public debate among commissioners according to a commission representative. Commissioners also said there still will be further debate and analysis on the issue in the future.
The state's political watchdog had a hearing in August where it discussed several issues relating to elections but said needed more time to understand the issue fully.
The U.S. Federal Election Commission allows political donations made in cryptocurrencies according to a 2014 ruling. California joins some other states like South Carolina that also prohibits these kinds of political donations. The states of North Carolina and Kansas have also rejected petitions to allow cryptocurrency donations in past elections. However, some states like Colorado permits cryptocurrency funding but place a limit on the amount that can be donated. Colorado places a limit on the number of anonymous contributions.
In June 2018, Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson requested that political campaigns in the state of Oregon be given the right to receive donations in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Andrew Yang has said he would accept cryptocurrencies to fund his presidential campaign in 2020.
Over the past, there has been an increasing amount of donations made in cryptocurrencies even in the U.S. since Republican Andrew Hemingway started the trend in 2014. At 32, he became the youngest gubernatorial candidate in New Hampshire history — and the first to accept bitcoin contributions. 20 percent of his political contributions were made in Bitcoins and he said the decision to accept cryptocurrency was as a result of high demand.
In June, a Republican candidate in Missouri refused a donation of $130,276 worth of Bitcoin as it exceeded the $5400 individual donation limit.
In anticipation of a rise in cryptocurrency political donations in the future, tools such as Bitpay let politicians solicit cryptocurrency donations while being compliant with U.S. campaign finance laws.