Transaction tax

Colorado Governor Now Accepts Crypto for Donations

Written by Benjamin Freed

In February, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced that the state would soon begin accepting cryptocurrency for tax payments and potentially other transactions. At the time, he called it a “very inexpensive and user-friendly way” to embrace digital currencies, which have been appealing to a growing number of elected officials across the country.

On Thursday, Polis extended that friendliness by saying he would now accept assessed contributions in cryptocurrency for his re-election bid this fall.

“My administration is committed to making Colorado a hub of cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation for years to come,” Polis said in a press release. “While political contributions only scratch the surface of what this critical technology is capable of, I hope my campaign to accept crypto donations will inspire more Coloradans to discover and unleash the limitless potential of blockchain. “

Polis’ fundraising site now lists several crypto denominations, including major tokens like bitcoin and ethereum, as well as so-called “memecoins,” like dogecoin and the Shiba Inu coin.

The Polis campaign does not appear to plan to keep crypto contributions and said it would immediately convert all donations to US dollars. The donation page is hosted by BitPay, a payment service provider for merchants who wish to accept cryptocurrency from their customers, but deposit funds in fiat currencies issued by a central bank. Crypto donations also cannot exceed $100 in value, per Colorado’s campaign finance laws.

The immediate dollar conversion is in line with Colorado’s plans to collect tax payments in cryptocurrency: when he announced the option, Polis said the state would cash in immediately, acknowledging the volatility of speculative assets like bitcoin .

“It’s a valid point on both the public side and the private side that you engage in crypto transactions, taking the speculative risks and holding the crypto is different than just handling it for the purposes of the transaction,” he told reporters in Washington in February.

But Polis has encouraged the cryptocurrency industry to invest in his state, including a keynote at a recent Denver conference for Ethereum investors. He also said little about the large amounts of energy used to mine bitcoin and other digital coins, although earlier this week his office told Colorado Public Radio that state crypto miners “are encouraged to use renewable energy.”

The Polis campaign also said the governor, who was elected in 2018, is the first Democratic gubernatorial candidate to accept donations in cryptocurrency, which has been more popular. with Republican candidates. (A fundraising committee supporting Nikki Fried, the Democratic candidate for Florida governor, began accepting crypto donations in January.)

While Polis’ courtship of the crypto industry mirrors that of other officials, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams – who boasted that he used all of his first three paychecks this year to buy cryptocurrency – the governor said he doesn’t own any himself.