Elections Canada, the Electoral Body of Canada, had published a draft document earlier this month (January 2019) planning out the procedure for accepting crypto donations. It is also seeking the inputs of other parties about handling crypto donations in upcoming elections later this year.
The Electoral body draft on issuing of cryptocurrencies notes that:
“With interest in cryptocurrencies on the rise, political entities have requested guidance on accepting contributions and conducting other transactions in bitcoin or altcoins.”
The political parties have time until January 21 to submit their views on the issue. The opinion of political parties will be added to the registry and may or may not result in changes being made to the final version of the note.
Elections Canada formulated a draft document that breaks down how cryptocurrency transactions need to be handled. Cryptocurrency donations are listed as non-monetary donations in the draft documents.
The draft also states that “Cryptocurrencies have traits of both money and property. A cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.”
Many countries are backing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in elections. Last year in November, The U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) approved mining pools to come forward and donate to political campaigns.
The advisory opinion would favor crypto-users to support political campaigns by mining cryptocurrencies for their preferred candidates.
Nigeria’s opposition leader and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has said the country would adopt blockchain technology and cryptocurrency if he is chosen into power in 2019 elections. Abubakar said in his policy document that there are strategies to create a legal policy, which will see blockchain and cryptocurrencies are educated from primary school through university.
Recently, the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) of Thailand is planning to revolutionize the obsolete system of voting by incorporating it with Blockchain technology.
It is also necessary to note that most cryptocurrencies are received passively. A political entity does not have any right to stop someone from transferring coins to their wallet. Unidentified donations of cryptocurrency over $20 have to be remitted to Elections Canada without delay.
Unlike other countries who are implementing strict regulations on crypto related business; Canada on the other side has shown a welcoming interest towards digital assets.
As per the draft, guidelines for establishing a crypto contributor’s identity states that “Cryptocurrencies are generally sent and received between digital wallets using public keys, which are translated (‘hashed’) into addresses and appear on the blockchain ledger as a string of letters and numbers.”
The electoral body’s draft concludes by noting that, political entities that wish to conduct transactions using cryptocurrencies must adhere to the rules framed by the Canada Elections Act (CEA).
Countries like the U.S, China, EU, Japan, and South Korea are forming strict cryptocurrency regulations to control fraudulent activities. On the other side, Election Canada’s proposal to seek donations through cryptocurrency is indeed a unique and appreciable move.
Will more countries follow Canada’s model to seek donations through cryptocurrency in elections? Share your thoughts in the comments.