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.

Bitcoin Ransomware Attack: Google Disables Baltimore Officials’ Gmail Accounts

The Baltimore City government has been under siege since May 7, as it was hit with a ransomware attack that saw hackers demand $100,000 in bitcoin and officials refuse to pay the ransom. In a new development, Google disabled officials’ Gmail accounts being used as a turnaround.

According to The Baltimore Sun , the Baltimore City government created Gmail accounts to work during the ransomware attack, as the city’s servers have been disrupted to the point their baltimorecity.gov emails aren’t working.

Recently, however, emails sent to several of the newly created Gmail addresses returned messages claiming the “email account that you tried to reach is disabled.” It was found that Google has considered these business accounts that need to be paid, instead of free individual Gmail accounts.

James Bentley, a spokesperson for Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, noted Baltimore planned to purchase a business plan from Google so the accounts could be restored. The news outlet quoted him as saying:

They disabled them because they deemed them to be business accounts. Their position is these accounts are circumventing their paid service

City Council President Brandon Scott added that meanwhile his staff was appealing the suspension with Google, although he hadn’t been briefed on the problem. A spokeswoman for Baltimore’s health department claimed she was able to see received old emails, but not send or receive new ones.

Per her words, there as no notice on why the account was disabled. On its website, Google claims it’ll suspend accounts used for sending spam, distribute malware, abuse children, violate copyright, or for other illicit purposes.

As CryptoGlobe covered, Baltimore was hit with a ransomware attack earlier this month that brought its real estate industry to a halt and crippled some of its essential systems. So much so the city’s collection and transfer of property taxes and water bills have been affected.

The hackers attacked the city’s servers with a new type of ransomware known as “Robbinhood,” and are demand a 13 BTC ($102,900) ransom to stop the whole attack. They also gave the city the option to pay 3 BTC ($23,700) to decrypt a specific system.