Elections Canada Agency Opens Debate on Handling Bitcoin Donations for Political Fundraising

Elections Canada, the official elections agency in Canada is seeking views on how to go about handling the usage of crypto donations when fundraising for political causes.

Political Parties Asked To Provide Input On Cryptocurrencies

According to a report published on iPolitics, the elections agency has sent out a formal invitation to political parties to submit their views on matters pertaining to cryptocurrency donations as the agency continues to prepare for upcoming elections. The parties were given a January 21st deadline to have submitted their views on the issue.

While at it, the agency has gone ahead and released an explanation note that is aimed at providing guidance to parties that have been accepting donations or making transactions using various cryptocurrencies. According to the electoral body, the interpretation note came about at the behest of the political elite.

According to the interpretation note, the agency noted that various political entities had written to it seeking clarification on guidelines pertaining to bitcoin and altcoins contributions. The entities also wanted to know whether there were guidelines on how they could conduct transactions using the cryptocurrencies.

The note goes on to state that the political elite also wanted to know whether the agency viewed the crypto as either monetary on non-monetary contributions as per the terms specified in the official elections act. Political entities also wanted to know how the agency would apply the contributions rules.

The electoral agency has stated that this interpretation note may at some point be updated once all the submissions have been received from the political entities and political parties.

Limits On Cryptocurrency Donations

One of the questions that have been addressed by the interpretation note pertains to the total amounts that can be handled by the entities in the form of cryptocurrency contributions. For example, one of the factors that may not make it ideal for contributors to submit contributions using altcoins such as Monero or Zcash is the fact that certain amounts must be reported.

The agency has stated that contributions made using privacy coins that exceed two hundred dollars need to be reported. In the report, the political entity ought to include the address as well as the name of the person who made the contributions.

For anonymous donations, the agency has placed the maximum contributory amount at twenty dollars. In case a political entity or party gets to passively receive an amount exceeding this, they will need to remit a commercial value of that donation via check to the elections agency.

Using Cryptocurrency Donations When Executing A Transaction

According to further information included in the interpretation note, any person running for public office should not use cryptocurrencies to directly purchase services or property. The same rule is applicable to all political parties that have been registered in the country.

This means that entities and political parties will first need to liquidate their digital assets, then proceed to deposit the amounts at a bank account. They can then withdraw the funds and use it to make a purchase.

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