One of the more interesting changes in the Bitcoin landscape over the past year has been the fact certain politicians started accepting Bitcoin payments for donations. It looks like this may finally start paying off, as Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has a sizable lead over the opposition in the race for Governor of Texas.
In the event of Mr. Abbott winning the election, he would become one of the first governors winning an election after accepting donations in Bitcoin. As a Bitcoin enthusiast, I can only hope these donations will lead to continued support from Mr. Abbott when he is in the Governor’s office. Whether or not this will be the case is up in their though.
Greg Abbott started accepting Bitcoin donations earlier this year, and he went as far as adding a separate “Bitcoin donations” button on his website. He issued a statement in which he explained his choice :
“I made the decision to accept Bitcoin because I believe that it represents the free-market economic principles that make Texas a national leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. As Governor, I will keep taxes low, government small and reduce regulations so Texas’ booming technology sector will continue to flourish.”
-Greg Abbott, Texas Attorney General
Even though it has been confirmed by his campaign there were indeed several Bitcoins’ worth of donations, no official number has been released at this point. It is interesting how these donations are valued however, as Bitcoin is not an official U.S currency. As a result, every Bitcoin donation will be valued at the market price at the time of transaction, the total value could vary widely depending on when they are exchanged into U.S. Dollars.
Ever since certain politicians started accepting Bitcoin for donations, the media has paid a lot more attention to not just Bitcoin, but other digital currencies as well. Especially considering Texas is being seen as “Bitcoin hospitable” because of its low-tax and low-regulation environment.
Texas was recently dubbed the “Future Headquarters of Bitcoin” by our colleagues over at Bitcoin Magazine. Austin, the capital of Texas, was one of the first cities to hold an annual Bitcoin event, taking place in March of every year.
“As a Bitcoin enthusiast living in Texas, I am encouraged when our leaders and representatives support Bitcoin and encourage the development of technologies based on [this currency.] Keeping regulations reasonable will insure Texas will be at the center of developing this new technology.”
-Paul Snow, President of the Texas Bitcoin Association
It will be interesting to see if politics can bring legitimacy to Bitcoin (and perhaps other digital currencies as well). And who knows, maybe it will have a positive effect on the price as well. Time will tell.