Texas congressman to accept bitcoins as campaign donations

BY newsdesk  January 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM EDT

Flickr user btckeychainRep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, announced Wednesday that his campaign for the Senate will now be accepting bitcoin donations. Photo by Flickr user btckeychain.

Representative Steve Stockman, R-Texas, announced Wednesday that his Senate campaign will accept bitcoins — or digital currency — as campaign donations.

With the announcement, Stockman is entering a gray area of campaign finance. In November, the Federal Election Commission considered the question of whether political campaigns can accept bitcoins, but failed to reach a decision.

Stockman is challenging Republican incumbent Sen. John Cornyn. So far, Cornyn’s reelection campaign has raised $7 million compared to Stockman’s $32,000. However, accepting bitcoins is not likely to help Stockman bolster his war chest.

“The decision isn’t likely to yield a windfall that will help Stockman keep pace with Cornyn, a two-term incumbent,” wrote Michael Lindenberger of The Dallas Morning News. “But it reinforces his message and appeals to his base supporters’ distrust of the Federal Reserve system.”

On Wednesday Stockman visited Bitcoin Center NYC, where he said, “I really think digital currency is more about freedom … Freedom to choose what to do with your money and freedom to keep your money without people influencing it through printing money or through regulation.”

H/T Bridget Bowman