A candidate for Congress in Florida needs to give ethereum-primarily based tokens to marketing campaign volunteers in an experimental exertion to incentivize their work — and federal officers surface poised to give their approval.
In late May perhaps, the marketing campaign for Omar Reyes, who is jogging for place of work in Florida’s 22nd Congressional District as an independent candidate, sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) trying to get permission for the “distribution to probable volunteers and any voters intrigued in participating in our cryptocurrency experiment.”
The idea is this: the “Omar2020” token is primarily based on the ERC-20 regular, which will allow for the creation of tokens on the ethereum network. According to the Reyes campaign’s letter, the varieties of pursuits they’d want to reward consist of registering to volunteer, signing up for a mailing list, or web hosting official marketing campaign events.
Even further, the campaign’s letter stresses that the tokens “have no financial worth,” and that the tokens would in essence provide as a digital scoreboard for volunteers. As the marketing campaign draws to a near, “our committee would like to reward our volunteers with the greatest sum of (OMR) tokens with the decision of just one of three gifts of our appreciation, compensated for by the Omar2020 committee.”
A draft advisory view posted July 5 and attributed to FEC chair Ellen Weintraub indicates that officers will give their blessing to the experiment, noting that the tokens them selves are “analogous to much more classic sorts of marketing campaign souvenirs, these types of as bumper stickers, lawn signals or buttons” and wouldn’t operate afoul of federal statutes.
As the draft view notes:
“The Commission concludes that the Committee may possibly distribute OMR Tokens to volunteers and supporters as an incentive to interact in volunteer pursuits as described in the ask for due to the fact OMR Tokens do not represent compensation alternatively, OMR Tokens are materially indistinguishable from classic varieties of marketing campaign souvenirs and absolutely nothing in the Act or Commission laws prohibits a marketing campaign committee from distributing absolutely free marketing campaign souvenirs to volunteers or supporters.”
In the view, Weintraub said it expects the Reyes marketing campaign to report any transaction costs accrued from the token transfers will be reported as expenses for each laws.
The draft opinion’s community remark period of time finished at noontime EST on Wednesday, according to the FEC document. Now, the draft view will be considered by fee customers at a forthcoming assembly. The subsequent assembly is scheduled for July 25, but its agenda has but to be posted.
A agent for the Reyes marketing campaign did not react to a ask for for remark by press time.
The FEC and cryptocurrency
This month’s ask for is not the to start with time that FEC officers have considered view requests that centre in some way about cryptocurrencies.
For case in point, the FEC a short while ago considered whether or not a marketing campaign could take contributions in the sort of cryptocurrency mining benefits. The FEC gave its ultimate approval this past April with a caveats that these types of pursuits really don’t sum to a sort of volunteering as at first proposed.
The most impactful conclusion to day was the 2014 view that opened the doorway to cryptocurrency donations to campaigns. At the time, the FEC stated that it would look at a bitcoin contribution as an in-form donation.
That move established the stage for a amount of political campaigns in the U.S. to solicit crypto-donations, which include Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential bid.
Most a short while ago, U.S. Consultant Eric Swalwell introduced that his now-defunct presidential exertion would take crypto contributions.
Andrew Yang, another 2020 presidential hopeful, is also accepting crypto contributions. His marketing campaign posted a coverage statement on blockchain and digital belongings this spring, and in the course of a May perhaps appearance at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2019 conference in New York, Yang pledged to deliver greater regulatory clarity for the field.
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