North Carolina Bans Donations in Crypto for Political Campaigns

  • The state of North Carolina seemingly isn't accepting cryptocurrency donations for political campaigns.
  • Notably, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) has seemingly been allowing candidates to accept BTC donations.

The North American state of North Carolina has recently banned political campaign donations in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as these “cannot be reliably valued,” and could see donations surpass legally established limits expressed in USD.

According to The News & Observer Emmanuel Wilder, a Republican candidate running in the 2018 US midterm Legislature elections, recently asked the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics whether or not he could accept donations in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to fund his campaign.

When reaching out to the State Board, Wilder added suggestions as to how these donations could be value, already expecting his request to be denied. In an email, he wrote that it would be a “great opportunity to show that North Carolina is truly open to new emerging markets.”

Kim Westbrook Strach, the state elections executive director, got back to Wilder in a letter revealing he couldn’t accept cryptos as these couldn’t “be reliably valued.” Presumably, Strach’s stance is derived from the volatility in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, saw its value fall from a near $20,000 all-time high to $7,600 at press time.

Per Strach’s words, the board doesn’t “have the confidence” that it could “adequately regulate contributions to a political campaign in North Carolina in the form of cryptocurrency.”  In response, Wilder issued a statement revealing he was disappointed. It read:

Blockchain and other technologies hold the ability to improve how business and public institutions operate day to day. Although it might not be today, there will be a day when this technology will have a place in the political process.

Emmanuel Wilder

Earlier this year US Senate candidate Austin Peterson received a $13,000 bitcoin donation he was forced to return, as it exceeded the $5,400 individual contribution limit the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) set.

Since 2014, the FEC has been allowing candidates to accept BTC donations, as long as these don’t go over the individual contribution limit. In a Facebook post, Petersen advised whoever donated the funds to start a political action committee (PAC).

A PAC is an organization that’s formed to raise funds on behalf of candidates running for public office, who represent the interest of the organization behind the PAC. As CryptoGlobe covered, popular San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently established a PAC.

Bank of England Governor Recommends Replacing Dollar With 'Libra-Like' Digital Currency

  • BOE Governor Mark Carney proposed replacing the US dollar with a libra-like digital currency as the global reserve. 
  • Called for a dramatic shift in policy to address the changing economic landscape. 

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has made a radical recommendation for central banks that the U.S. dollar be replaced with a Libra-like digital reserve currency. 

Replacing the Dollar

Speaking at the Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole Symposium on Aug. 23, Carney called for a dramatic shift in global monetary policy that would see central banks taking a greater interest in digital currencies such as Facebook’s forthcoming libra. 

The BOE Governor’s proposal would replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency with a digital alternative. While it was unclear if Carney was actually suggesting that libra could be used to fill the void, his intent was to spur interest in a fiat alternative for global reserves. 

Carney argued that proactively replacing the dollar with a digital coin substitute would be preferable to allowing another national currency usurp its status--such as the Chinese renminbi. 

He pointed to the global economic uncertainty in part being generated by deteriorating U.S. trade relations, 

The combination of heightened economic policy uncertainty, outright protectionism and concerns that further, negative shocks could not be adequately offset because of limited policy space is exacerbating the disinflationary bias in the global economy.

He continued, 

When change comes, it shouldn’t be to swap one currency hegemon for another. Any unipolar system is unsuited to a multi-polar world. We would do well to think through every opportunity, including those presented by new technologies, to create a more balanced and effective system.

Cryptocurrencies Gaining Prominence

The introduction of a non-fiat currency could have the effect of devaluing the dollar, and most national currencies, which could be one way for central banks to introduce inflation to erode away the record levels of debt accumulating globally. 

Some have speculated that an alternative asset such as gold could be used as an intermediate. However Carney, who announced several months ago he would be stepping down as Governor of the BOE, has shown a route to fiat alternatives which includes the creation of digital currencies.

He lauded the technology for its efficiency in payments and cross-border transactions, 

The most high profile of these has been Libra – a new payments infrastructure based on an international stablecoin fully backed by reserve assets in a basket of currencies including the US dollar, the euro, and sterling. It could be exchanged between users on messaging platforms and with participating retailers.

While Carney’s suggestion to replace the U.S. dollar is one of the most radical proposals yet, it does give insight into the global trend in central banks to pursue digital currencies as an alternative to their outdated fiat counterparts.