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Does Bitcoin Have a Future in Politics?

Does Bitcoin Have a Future in Politics?
Photograph by Jens Kalaene/AP Photo

Representative Steve Stockman (R-Tex.) is no stranger to provocative proposals. He authored one bill to repeal a federal ban on carrying firearms in school zones and one declaring that human life exists from fertilization. Now, in his long-shot bid for the U.S. Senate, Stockman has turned his sights to campaign finance by offering to take donations in bitcoins.

This comes as sweet harmony to those who think the controversial cyber currency represents a blow to the federal banking system they loathe, a cause never more at home than on Stockman’s turf. It was in Texas that former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul launched his assault on the U.S. money system. Almost a dozen Texas lawmakers lined up last year to cosponsor the “Sound Dollar Act,” a bill by Kevin Brady, a state representative, that would require the U.S. Federal Reserve to keep prices stable by monitoring a clutch of assets, including gold. (The private website GovTrack.us gives the bill a 1 percent chance of passing.) And while a handful of companies such as dating website OKCupid have announced plans to accept bitcoins, doubts about bitcoins’ long-term stability run deep.