FPPC to consider allowing crypto donations + Pandemic made billionaires and paupers, report says

·4 min read

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FPPC VOTES TO CONSIDER ALLOWING CRYPTO DONATIONS

The California Fair Political Practices Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to consider approving a proposal to allow political campaigns to accept cryptocurrency donations.

In other words, you could soon be allowed to donate Bitcoin to your favorite candidate. Within limits, of course.

A reminder that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin are virtual, encrypted currencies not backed by any governmental body, produced by computer servers and shared and tracked using a technology called blockchain.

The commission on Thursday had three options: Continue California’s ban on crypto donations, allow crypto donations at a value of less than $100 per source or treat crypto as an in-kind, non-monetary contribution subject to standard limits with the requirement that the crypto donation be converted to cash and deposited into the campaign’s bank account.

It opted for option No. 3, and will take up the actual decision-making when the commission meets in July.

According to a Pew Research Center survey, around 16% of Americans say that they have invested in or otherwise used cryptocurrency.

The Federal Election Commission permits donations of Bitcoin valued at $100 or less, though it limits political committees from using Bitcoins to buy goods or services.

California is currently one of nine states to ban crypto donations to political candidates. Another 12 states, plus Washington, D.C., allow such donations.

OXFAM REPORT FINDS PANDEMIC MADE BILLIONAIRES, SPREAD POVERTY

The COVID-19 pandemic brought immense wealth to hundreds, extreme poverty to hundreds of millions, according to a new report from Oxfam International.

Specifically, one billionaire was created every 30 hours during the pandemic — for a total of 573 people; compared to an estimated 263 million people who were pushed into extreme poverty — that’s a rate of 1 million people every 33 hours.

“Billionaires are arriving in Davos to celebrate an incredible surge in their fortunes. The pandemic and now the steep increases in food and energy prices have, simply put, been a bonanza for them. Meanwhile, decades of progress on extreme poverty are now in reverse and millions of people are facing impossible rises in the cost of simply staying alive,” said Gabriela Bucher, executive director of Oxfam International.

According to the report, 2,668 billionaires hold $12.7 trillion in value. The world’s 10 richest men own more wealth than 3.1 billion people.

“The extremely rich and powerful are profiting from pain and suffering. This is unconscionable. Some have grown rich by denying billions of people access to vaccines, others by exploiting rising food and energy prices. They are paying out massive bonuses and dividends while paying as little tax as possible. This rising wealth and rising poverty are two sides of the same coin, proof that our economic system is functioning exactly how the rich and powerful designed it to do,” Bucher said.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

- Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, via Twitter.

Best of The Bee:

  • Gasoline prices in California topped $6 a gallon this week and have kept on climbing, and the U.S. House Thursday tried to ease the pain. But it’s unlikely consumers will see the consequence of its action anytime soon, via David Lightman.

  • A lot of celebrities use their platforms to share their thoughts on national politics, urging their fans to vote in big-ticket races like U.S. president or governor of California. Grammy award-winning artist John Legend, on the other hand, wants to get down to the ground level. He’s turning his attention to local elections around the country where he sees an opportunity to support candidates he believes will make a difference on the issue he most cares about: discrimination in the criminal justice system, via Marcus D. Smith.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom has again tamped down speculation that he has his eyes on the Oval Office, via Andrew Sheeler.

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