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Donald Trump campaign announces it will begin accepting contributions via cryptocurrency

Donald Trump campaign announces it will begin accepting contributions via cryptocurrency

 


WASHINGTON (AP) Donald Trump's presidential campaign announced Tuesday that it will begin accepting cryptocurrency donations as part of an effort to build what it calls a crypto army before Election Day.

The Trump campaign has launched a fundraising page that allows any federally authorized donor to give to its political committees using any crypto asset accepted through cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

The ad promotes Trump's message that he is a pro-crypto candidate, and also appeals to a core group of young male voters who are increasingly likely to get into digital assets. This happened as Trump's defense hinged on 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.

The Trump campaign accepts a range of popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ether and US Dollar Coin, as well as low-denomination coins that tend to be popular with internet personalities such as Shiba Inu Coin and Dogecoin.

Billionaire Elon Musk, in particular, is considered a fan of the latter two, traded on exchanges such as DOGE and SHIB.

It's unclear whether the Trump campaign will hold onto the crypto or immediately sell it, or what kind of fees it might pay for its liquidation. Although the campaign says it wants to follow U.S. election laws, the anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies can make it difficult to confirm that funds come from who they claim to be.

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

Julia Krieger, a spokesperson for Coinbase, told The Associated Press that crypto is nonpartisan and moves money because it is cheaper and faster, adding that the Coinbase platform is open to everyone candidates this election season.

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

Although some states do not allow cryptocurrency donations in state races under existing campaign finance laws, the Federal Election Commission allows committees to receive bitcoin as contributions.

An advisory opinion published in 2014 by the commission concluded that bitcoin is money or anything of value within the meaning of the law and that policy committees should assess contribution based on the market value of bitcoin at the time the contribution is received.

Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign is currently accepting bitcoin donations.

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

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

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