Senate Candidate Accepts Largest Contribution in BTC
By Jamie Redman
This week the Republican Senate candidate Austin Petersen announced he accepted the largest federal election campaign contribution settled in digital currency. Petersen, a former Libertarian, has received a total of 24 cryptocurrency donations this year, and the largest was for 0.284 BTC ($4,500 USD).
The Largest Cryptocurrency Campaign Donation
The Republican Austin Petersen is looking for a Senate seat in Missouri and is accepting bitcoin donations to get there. Petersen was the runner-up back in 2016 for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President of the United States. The Missouri candidate is well known throughout the younger crowd of voters for loving bitcoin and giving away an AR-15 riflein a raffle. This past December, the 36-year old stated in an interview: “I am a big fan of the digital currency community because of what it represents, which is ultimately decentralization.”
This week the Federal Election Commission’s records reveal Petersen has received the largest digital currency donation in U.S. history — 0.284 BTC or $4,500 USD at the time of donation. Petersen has also garnered 24 total election contributions in BTC, and his campaign uses the Atlanta based processor Bitpay to facilitate donations.
When asked about the recent BTC donation, Jeff Carson, the campaign manager stated:
I think it goes without saying we’re going to see a lot more of this in terms of campaign contributions and campaign financing — Austin is personally a fan of competition in the marketplace, even when it comes to our currency — With the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it was a no-brainer.
Gold, Silver, Cryptocurrencies and Ending the Fed
Petersen detailed last September that he would like to see “deregulation on monetary policy.” Further, the candidate added he would like to see the abolition of the private banking system the U.S. Federal Reserve.
“But barring that, at a minimum, I would like to introduce legislation that would decentralize the monetary unit, the dollar, in such a way as to legalize competition: Gold, silver, and cryptocurrencies, so that they can compete — That would cause a spike in the prices,” Petersen explains.
The contender follows other U.S. bureaucrats who’ve accepted bitcoin donations in the past. Back in 2014, the Coloradan Democrat Jared Polis received BTC for his campaign. The libertarian-leaning Republican Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, accepted crypto for his presidential run in 2016.
What do you think about Austin Petersen’s campaign donation? Do you envision digital currencies being used more often to fund politicians running for office? Let us know what you think about this story in the comment section below.
Images via Endthefed.org, Austin Petersen, Twitter, and the Kansas City Star.