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Wisconsin Assembly candidate is accepting Bitcoin donations again

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A candidate for the Wisconsin State Assembly is challenging a state regulator by accepting donations in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).

Phil Anderson, a real estate broker and entrepreneur, now accepts cryptocurrency donations for his Assembly campaign. According to an official statement by Anderson, crypto donations are available via major cryptocurrency payment service provider BitPay.

Anderson said that his campaign is accepting crypto donations despite regulatory uncertainty from the Wisconsin Ethics Commission.

Back in 2018, Anderson accepted Bitcoin donations in his campaign for governor of Wisconsin despite the WEC finding them a “serious challenge” to compliance with state law. According to the candidate, the WEC failed to arrive at a decision regarding the legal status of crypto donations in the state in 2018.

As such, the Wisconsin Assembly candidate is challenging the regulator again, arguing that the WEC “declined to interpret its own rules competently.” Anderson believes that crypto is a legitimate way to make campaign donations because “cryptocurrency is money.” The candidate promises to “push for the laws to be friendly toward cryptocurrency in Wisconsin.”

“I refuse to give in to ignorance and bureaucratic incompetence. […] People have the choice as to how they contribute, and it’s my intention to honor those choices. If my opponent or the Ethics Commission are interested in challenging me, I’m ready for a fight,” he said.

A number of political candidates for various offices in the United States have been accepting crypto as donations for their campaigns. Andrew Yang, a former presidential candidate, was accepting Bitcoin donations for his political action committee in 2019. In August, Republican Rep. Tom Emmer also started accepting campaign donations in crypto via BitPay.



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‘Nakamoto’s innovation is real,’ says SEC Chair Gary Gensler

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Gary Gensler, the Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, believes that the blockchain revolution started by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 is more than just a fad, but a real value proposition for the future of the internet. 

In an interview with the Aspen Security Forum on Tuesday, Gesler talked about his role at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology teaching about the intersection of finance and technology:

“[…] in that work I came to believe that though there was a lot of hype masquerading as reality in the crypto field, Nakamoto’s innovation is real.”

Gensler noted that, while some within the public sector wish that cryptocurrency would just go away, the technology likely has a big role to play in the future of finance.

“I really do think there’s something real about the distributed ledger technology, moving value on the internet,” he said.

Related: Today marks the 10-year anniversary of Satoshi Nakamoto’s final message

Some within the crypto community took Gensler’s comments to mean that he’s studied the entire field of blockchain and concluded that Bitcoin is the only real innovation. A transcript of Gensler’s address to the Aspen Security Forum appeared to be hyper-focused on the Bitcoin (BTC) whitepaper published by Satoshi Nakamoto more than a decade ago.

“At its core, Nakamoto was trying to create a private form of money with no central intermediary, such as a central bank or commercial banks,” Gensler said in his remarks. Although he acknowledged that no single cryptocurrency broadly fulfills all the functions of public monies like the dollar, he said assets like Bitcoin provide a different value proposition:

“Primarily, crypto assets provide digital, scarce vehicles for speculative investment. Thus, in that sense, one can say they are highly speculative stores of value.”

After being confirmed by the Senate Banking Committee in April of this year, Gensler assumed the role as SEC Chair in June, replacing the outgoing Jay Clayton, whose term expired the same month. Gensler’s five-year term is scheduled to last through 2026. He believes in creating a “robust” regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the United States, especially in emerging DeFi markets such as lending.

Related: SEC Chair wants robust crypto regulatory regime for the US