The Washington Post’s blog The Switch details how a state representative from New Hampshire raised campaign funds through Bitcoin.
Rep. Mark Warden’s reelection campaign staff suggested the lawmaker open up to new forms of campaign contributions. It helps, I suppose, that New Hampshire already has a large community of Bitcoin advocates.
In three days, Warden’s campaign raised 160 Bitcoins, which at that time last year was worth $1,600. That represented 14% of the candidate’s total fundraising for 2012’s election.
Some of those funds came from users in other countries, excited to contribute to any politician who was giving at least some tacit approval to the cryptocurrency.
“Everyone in the world wants to see Bitcoin become mainstream,” Rep. Warden said.
Last year, two other candidates ran for seats at the state and federal level and accepted campaign contributions in Bitcoins.
Currently, the Federal Election Commission is looking into Bitcoin contributions to determine whether the currency can be used in future campaign funding.
The FEC’s blessing would be a big boon to Bitcoin’s perceived legitimacy in Washington and among investors alike. Meanwhile, Rep. Warden’s campaign haul in Bitcoins has multiplied in value many times over. Those 160 Bitcoins today would be worth about $21,600.
Too bad a candidate cannot squirrel away contributions for later use.