Originally published July 23 2015
Texas Governor Greg Abbott now accepting bitcoin donations!
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Newly elected Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is already working towards his reelection in four years and as such has begun to raise funds for that cause.
But Abbott has gone a step further in that process - choosing a high-tech, ultra-modern method of raising some coin.
Bitcoin, that is.
"Hello, Bitcoin Community! Texans for Greg Abbott is re-opening its Bitcoin contributions. Bitcoin, a new and decentralized digital currency, enables instant financial transactions with a new level of safety and security," says an an announcement on his campaign web site.
"Bitcoin transactions are made with no middlemen and no transaction fees. Your Bitcoin contribution to Texans for Greg Abbott will be listed as an in-kind contribution to the campaign," says the website.
The Texas governor goes on to remind donors that Bitcoin is an encrypted, decentralized currency - just the sort that an independent-minded governor of the Lone Star state naturally would prefer. Still, there are some regulatory mechanisms associated with Bitcoin transactions.
"In order to comply with the Texas Ethics Commission on in-kind contributions, Texans for Greg Abbot [his reelection campaign title] will require users submit certain information, including name, address, employer and occupation" - the very sorts of personally identifiable information donors giving cash are generally required to provide.
"The Texas Banking Commission and the Internal Revenue Service have both recognized Bitcoin as an asset as opposed to an actual currency, so contributions via Bitcoin transfer are considered in-kind contributions to the campaign and will be reported accordingly on forthcoming campaign finance reports," the Abbot campaign website acknowledged.
Advantages and disadvantagesBut there are advantages to using the digital currency as well, the campaign noted.
"Bitcoin transaction fees, if any, are significantly less than those associated with traditional forms of payment because this form of currency is transferred user-to-user, eliminating the presence of a third party financial institution," the site said.
"Our campaign has focused on making use of cutting-edge tools to communicate online and has made digital a priority from the start," campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch told Politico last year. "Something as innovative as Bitcoin is an opportunity for us to continue this focus, especially given the fact that it embodies free market principles, which Texans are very fond of.
"We have received several Bitcoin contributions so far. While we don't expect Bitcoin to become our main source of campaign contributions, we are excited be able to give supporters in the Bitcoin community the option to contribute in this way. We did not have any specific requests for the campaign to accept Bitcoin," he added.
A year ago, as his campaign for governor heated up, Abbott praised the decision to accept the digital in-kind currency.
"I'm excited to see our campaign add another tool to our cutting-edge digital outreach, which is allowing us to reach more Texans than any previous campaign in the state," he said at the time. "The spirit of Bitcoin embodies the free market principles that make Texas a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. We welcome the Bitcoin community to join our team."
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