Over the past year, there has been a wave of announcements and notices of central banks and federal governments warning consumers of the risks and hazards associated with the peer-to-peer decentralized virtual currency bitcoin. Each week, there were dozens.
Well, with election season upon us in many different regions of the globe, it could very well be possible that a new wave of announcements and press releases of political incumbents and hopefuls will confirm they are accepting bitcoins to fund their political campaigns.
One of the latest political candidates is Ossian Smyth, who is running for Ireland’s Dun Laoghaire Green Party for next month’s elections. He will reportedly be the very first Irish politician to accept campaign donations in bitcoin.
Under current Irish regulations, Smyth is permitted to accept up to 30 bitcoins throughout the campaign, but his primary goal is to raise 15 bitcoins (approximately $7,300). Through this latest campaign fundraising innovation, Smyth hopes to garner the support from those who share his values and beliefs: transparency in government and technologically proficient.
Employed as an IT consultant at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Smyth said in a news release that he believes bitcoin has the capabilities to transform politics in the country, particularly in the area of transparency, a matter that receives a chuckle from cynical political observers.
“I think it is one of the most transparent ways of receiving donations,” said the Internet spokesperson and representative of communications, energy and natural resources for the Green Party in a statement. “No one would know how much money can be donated into a bank account, but with bitcoin anyone can go to the block chain and look at the wallet. Over the next six weeks, the public will be able to see every transaction using Blockchain.info.”
Bitcoin in politics has made headlines on an international level over the past month.
We reported Wednesday that Denmark’s Liberal Alliance would be the first political party to use the blockchain for voting in order to bring about transparency, trust and honesty because it would allow voters to monitor internal voting.
Earlier this week, we also reported that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott would bring bitcoin into the campaign fundraising fold. The Republican running for governor of the Lone Star State has said that bitcoin encompasses free market principles.
“I am excited to see our campaign add another tool to our cutting digital outreach, which is allowing us to reach more Texans than any previous campaign in the state,” Abbott said in a statement. “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.”
Other United States political hopefuls accepting bitcoin include Darryl W. Perry, a 2016 presidential candidate; Steve Stockman, a Republican Congressman running for senator; Eric Brakey, a Republican State Senate candidate; and Blaine Richardson, an independent conservative congressional candidate.
Remus Cernea Constanc, an independent Member of Parliament in Romania, also announced earlier this year that he would be accepting bitcoin donations for his run for president.