Bitcoin Needs Smart and Safe Regulation | Commentary

By Lawrence Goodman The advent of virtual money — such as bitcoin — may be another ground-breaking chapter in the history of finance. Yet volatility and risks threaten to thwart its progress, making it entirely possible Congress will be dragged into dealing with the fallout of any crisis that may arise.  

Over many years, the American financial industry has been at the forefront of innovations that have opened the door to economic opportunity and wealth for average Americans. New ideas — such as discount brokerages, mutual funds, college savings plans and an array of credit options, to name just a few — have benefited many.  

Campaign Bitcoins Proliferate, but FEC Rules Unclear

Candidates testing the waters of bitcoin fundraising are following different sets of rules as they go along, a function of both the freewheeling culture of the digital currency world and of mixed signals from the Federal Election Commission.  

The FEC approved bitcoin fundraising in a unanimous advisory opinion on May 8, but the agency’s six commissioners immediately began a public dispute over what that decision actually means. At issue is whether digital currency contributions must be capped at $100 per election per donor, or whether candidates, political action committees and parties may accept the virtual currency in larger amounts.