Donald Trump's campaign says it will begin accepting contributions through cryptocurrency

Donald Trump's campaign says it will begin accepting contributions through cryptocurrency

Donald Trump's campaign says it will begin accepting contributions through cryptocurrency

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will begin accepting donations in cryptocurrency, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s campaign says

ByFATIMA HUSSEIN Associated Press

May 21, 2024, 5:57 PM

    WASHINGTON -- WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump 's presidential campaign said Tuesday it would begin accepting donations in cryptocurrency as part of an effort to build what it calls a “crypto army” leading up to Election Day.

    The Trump campaign launched a fundraising page that allows “any federally permissible donor the ability to give" to its political committees using any crypto asset accepted through the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange.

    The announcement promotes Trump's message that he is a crypto-friendly candidate, and also appeals to a core group of young male voters who are increasingly likely to dabble in digital assets. It came as Trump's defense rested in his hush money case in New York.

    Cryptocurrencies are a digital asset that can be traded over the internet without relying on the global banking system.

    Trump's campaign is accepting a range of popular cryptocurrencies that include Bitcoin, Ether and US Dollar Coin, and also include the low-value coins that tend to be popular with Internet personalities like Shiba Inu Coin, and Dogecoin.

    Billionaire Elon Musk, most notably, is considered a fan of the latter two, traded on markets as DOGE and SHIB.

    It’s not clear whether the Trump campaign will hold onto the crypto or will immediately sell it, and what sort of fees it may pay to liquidate. While the campaign says it plans to follow U.S. election laws, the anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies can make it tricky to confirm the funds are coming from who they say they are.

    Trump has already received millions in cryptocurrency personally through his Trump Digital Trading Cards non-fungible token projects and his MAGA coin, which was released last August.

    Julia Krieger, a spokeswoman for Coinbase, told The Associated Press that “crypto is nonpartisan and moves money forward because it's cheaper and faster,” adding that the Coinbase platform is open to all candidates this election season.

    A representative from President Joe Biden's campaign did not respond to an Associated Press request for comment on whether it will begin accepting cryptocurrency donations.

    While some states don’t allow cryptocurrency donations in state races under existing campaign finance laws, the Federal Election Commission does allow committees to receive bitcoin as contributions.

    A 2014 advisory opinion issued by the commission concluded that bitcoin is “money or anything of value” within the meaning of the law and political committees should value the contribution based on the market value of bitcoin at the time the contribution is received.

    The presidential campaign for independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. currently accepts bitcoin donations.

    In conventional money, Biden and the Democratic National Committee said Monday that they raised more than $51 million in April, falling well short of the $76 million that Trump and the Republican Party reported taking in for the month.

    ___

    Associated Press reporter Ken Sweet in New York contributed to this report.

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