California allows cryptocurrency donations to political campaigns

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SACRAMENTO — Candidates for state and local offices in California will soon be able to accept cryptocurrency campaign donations.

The Fair Political Practices Commission voted Thursday to approve new rules allowing the donations for digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

The new rules say candidates can accept cryptocurrency donations if they immediately convert the digital currency into U.S. dollars. Candidates must use a registered cryptocurrency processor to handle the transaction that will collect the name, address, occupation and employer of each contributor.

Cryptocurrencies don’t rely on banks. Instead, transactions are recorded digitally through blockchain technology.

California’s new rules will take effect within 60 days. California had been one of nine states that prohibited cryptocurrency contributions. Twelve states, plus Washington D.C., allow cryptocurrency contributions in some form, according to a commission staff report.

Candidates running for federal office are already allowed to accept cryptocurrency donations.