FEC to Consider Whether Mining Cryptocurrencies Is Contribution

campaign finance, Cryptocurrency, elections, FEC, Federal Election Commission

On December 13, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) may consider whether allowing an individual volunteering to allow the processing power of his or her internet-enabled device to mine cryptocurrencies for the benefit a political committee would be considered a political contribution.

An advisory opinion request asks the FEC if a federal political committee could allow its individual supporters to volunteer the processing power of their internet-enabled devices to pool the processing power of these devices, which results in the mining of a “block.”

Mining allows transactions between users to be authenticated and generates a new cryptocurrency unit for the miner as a reward for creating the “block” and pays the miner a transaction fee. Creating blocks requires enormous amounts of computing power and can take years to generate a valid “block” by a single miner.

The FEC may consider Draft Advisory Opinion 2018-13 (Draft A) at its open meeting December 13, or hold it over for a future date.