Elections Body of Canada Struggles with Bitcoin Donations

Elections Canada, the elections agency of Canada, has invited views on how to handle the use of digital assets and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in political fundraising.

It is to be noted that Elections Canada has requested political parties to suggest their point of view on the matter as the body prepares for elections in the next few months, as per iPolitics. To present their comments, political parties have until January 21.

The electoral body, at the same time, has issued an interpretation note that offers guidance to political establishments on accepting digital assets and cryptocurrency contributions and carrying out transactions using the same. This was done at the request of the political class, according to Elections Canada.

With interest in digital assets on the ascend, political entities have requested assistance on accepting contributions and doing other transactions in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. The aforementioned interpretation note seeks to answer several questions. These questions were related to the cryptocurrencies’ monetary or non-monetary use for the purpose of the Canada Elections Act. Another one was related to the use of crypto by political entities to buy property or services directly. It is to be noted that the note also clarifies reporting requirements for transferring, holding, buying, and selling digital assets and cryptocurrencies.

Elections Canada has set the cap on anonymous digital asset and cryptocurrency donations at $20. Political entities are required to remit the commercial value of the donation by check to Elections Canada if they receive more than that amount passively.

Notably, the interpretation note also mentions that individuals running for office are not permitted to purchase services or property directly using digital assets and cryptocurrencies. Moreover, the same applies to registered political parties who must liquidate their virtual currencies first. Subsequently, they need to deposit the proceeds into a bank account prior to making the purchase as part of their election-related expenses.

Nonetheless, a registered political party can purchase property and services directly using digital assets and cryptocurrency, if the purchase is not linked to elections.

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