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Francis Wilkinson

Bitcoin and Politics: What Could Go Wrong?

It looks like bitcoins will play a role in political finance in 2014, quite possibly with the express approval of the FEC.

Bitcoin, the alternative sort-of currency whose most ardent fans congregate in that part of the Venn diagram where "tech" and "libertarian" overlap, has always had a political flip-side. Its appeal is rooted in distrust -- of dollars, governments, banks, the Federal Reserve and surely other institutions besides.

So it's not surprising that the Federal Election Commission has received a request from a political action committee called the Conservative Action Fund, which seeks an advisory opinion on accepting contributions in bitcoins. The PAC spent more than $300,000 in behalf of Republicans in the 2012 election cycle and is looking to go deep on Bitcoin in 2014.