Press release – Massachusetts Pirate Party – 1/23/2014 7:20 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PIRATE PARTY PROMPTS SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN FINANCE RULING FOR BITCOIN
Boston, MA – January 23, 2014 – The Pirate Party is pleased that the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) ruled that registered political committees can now accept donations in bitcoins.
“The OCPF’s ruling provides another tool for emerging political groups to raise needed funds. It is yet another sign that cryptocurrencies are moving into the mainstream,” said Steve Revilak, the person who requested the advisory opinion and Massachusetts Pirate Party treasurer.
The OCPF’s advisory opinion [http://ocpf.net/legaldoc/AO-14-01.pdf] was in response to the Massachusetts Pirate Party’s inquiry into the rules governing bitcoin donations to political action committees. The OCPF determined that political committees could accept bitcoin contributions, subject to existing disclosure requirements and contribution limits. Political campaigns would need to convert bitcoins into US dollars within five days of receiving them, just like other financial assets such as stocks and bonds.
“The Pirate Party believes that innovation is sorely needed in our political system, and this ruling is part of our effort to shake up politics in Massachusetts,” said Lucia Fiero, secretary of the Massachusetts Pirate Party. “We are proud to have helped candidates and political committees take advantage of the opportunities that cryptocurrencies offer.”
Bitcoin is a pseudo-anonymous cryptocurrency where each user starts with a wallet with multiple unique addresses from which they can send and receive bitcoins. While all transactions are public, only a user knows which addresses are theirs. This feature allows users to give out a public address, while retaining many private addresses to use in activities they do not want to be identified with.
“Some will complain that by allowing campaigns to accept bitcoins, people will be able to contribute anonymously. Yet, the Supreme Court in its Citizens United decision allowed the wealthy to use nonprofits to launder enormous contributions through 501(c)(4) organizations. In Massachusetts, campaigns will still need to follow the same reporting requirements for bitcoins that all contributions require,” said Party Chairman James O’Keefe.
About the Massachusetts Pirate Party:
The Massachusetts Pirate Party is the party of Open Government, Open Innovation, Open Culture, and People First. It is the only political party in Massachusetts with the objective of defending the Internet as an open resource for all. The Massachusetts Pirate Party is currently identifying and training candidates to contest the 2014 Massachusetts legislative elections and 2015 municipal elections.
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