The USA Today, the second largest newspaper in the United States celebrated the news that Bitcoin is now approved for political campaign contributions by adding a Bitcoin to its own logo. Not only was the logo from the online edition changed but so too was the logo of the paper edition which is the widest circulated print newspaper in the United States. Currently distributed in all fifty states, The USA Today distributes papers to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Canada and the United Kingdom. The newspaper has its headquarters in the Tysons Corner area of Fairfax County, Virginia, and something tells me that someone at the USA Today must like Bitcoin. USA Today sells for $2.00 USD at newsstands and is often found free at hotels and airports that distribute it to their customers. Auditmedia.com shows the USA Today distribution stats for the last 6 months of 2012 as having:
When clicked, the logo links to this article from the USA Today from May 9, 2014. The unanimous FEC decision to allow political committees to accept Bitcoin donations up to $100 worth was reported on by CCN as soon as the news broke.
What the decision does for Bitcoin is that it legitimizes it even further and also makes it quite difficult for the government or anyone for that matter, to discuss further, the legality of Bitcoin. Now that it can be used to fund campaigns, it has been given the okay by the US Government. It also allows the Bitcoin community to purchase their politicians just like everyone else. Honestly, I’d rather see Bitcoin spent in other areas, but this decision is a good one for the Bitcoin community and Bitcoin in general.
More than anything, what this decision does is it solidifies the fact that spending one’s Bitcoin is a First Amendment and politically protected activity. It has been regulated by the Federal Election Commission and slowly but surely we see Bitcoin acceptance growing now to even a political level. Imagine that they could use the Blockchain to provide for transparency in political campaign contributions far better than they can now in the traditional banking system. Further discussion is needed about the $100 donation limit but this does not appear to be much of an issue as this is the current cash limit. As far as the anonymity issue, it is unclear exactly how they plan to enforce these laws or provisions. If you are trying to trace payments against people who are working hard and have a significant financial incentive to not be traced, that will indeed be difficult. Look for Coinbase or another online payment processor to release a system soon that will help open the transparency of those who donate, help cap the amount donated, and also turn the Bitcoin immediately to cash so that these politicians can use it on their campaigning efforts.
All in all, this is a great decision for Bitcoin. Anytime you can see the big Bitcoin logo displayed across the front page of a newspaper that is seen by over 7 million readers daily, that is certainly a step in the right direction in regards to the continued acceptance of this quickly growing cryptocurrency.
From its taxation laws and now to its use in political campaigning, Bitcoin is certainly becoming more a part of what we do in the USA Today.
Last modified (UTC): May 10, 2014 17:13