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US State Representative adding online campaign donation system
By Chelsea Segal
September 4, 2012 - 4:26pm
US State Representative Mark Warden, who is running for re-election in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, has added the Bitcoin donation payment processing system to his campaign website, Finextra reports. This marks the first use of the decentralized virtual currency system by a sitting incumbent politician, although not the first instance of an innovative campaign donation strategy.
This announcement follows on the heels of a recent collaboration between the Obama campaign and payvia, a mobile payment processing platform. According to TechCrunch, the Obama Campaign selected payvia to be its exclusive vendor, allowing its supporters to send in donations via text message. Donors can send up to $10 per text and up to $50 per month.
According to the company's website, Bitcoin is an innovative digital currency that utilizes peer-to-peer technology and enables instantaneous payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. The community-driven, open source system functions on a decentralized basis.
"This is a cutting-edge technology that is market-based, voluntary and extremely innovative," Warden told the news source. "I have constituents and vendors who prefer this medium of exchange, so it's natural to want to respond to the marketplace."
The use of innovative technologies and new methods of campaign donations faces strict scrutiny from several regulatory boards, including the Federal Reserve and the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The FEC had unanimously approved donations through text messages last month, marking a significant victory for fundraisers and campaign finance reform proponents, according to Reuters. These advocates had sought to level the playing field for small donors against Super PACs, or political action committees.
Mobile methods of payment processing have already pervaded nearly every expenditure in our daily lives, from our online shopping binges to our first cup of coffee in the morning. Now, mobile payments are entering an unexpected realm - video games.