"The NRCC is proud to lead the charge in accepting cryptocurrency campaign contributions," NRCC Chairman and Republican Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer said in a statement. "We are focused on pursuing every avenue possible to further our mission of stopping Nancy Pelosi’s socialist agenda and retaking the House majority, and this innovative technology will help provide Republicans the resources we need to succeed."
The NRCC will accept cryptocurrency contributions using payment service Bitpay, which will convert the donations into dollars prior to landing in the organization's account.
Axios, the first to report the story, notes that because the committee will never actually take possession of the donated cryptocurrencies, it will be able to accept individual donations of up to $10,000 per year, rather than the $100 value for transfers of actual cryptocurrency like Bitcoin that the Federal Elections Committee approved in a 2014 ruling.
The FEC previously raised concerns with the Daily Beast that the privacy and institutional independence of digital currencies pose a threat to the current federal transparency and disclosure rules surrounding campaign finance. An FEC spokesperson declined to comment on the NRCC's announcement.
An NRCC spokesperson told Axios it plans to diligently gather identifying information from all individuals who use crypto to donate.
The announcement comes a week after Emmer, who is also co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and a member of the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service urging the agency to ease regulations on cryptocurrency donations to charitable groups.
Taxpayers are currently required to have an IRS appraiser determine the value of their cryptocurrency donations, which contradicts its current guidance on cryptocurrency purchases and sales, which allows taxpayers to calculate their obligations based on free market value.
"This contradiction can be easily reconciled by amending Form 8283 such that a taxpayer making a charitable contribution using virtual currency can report the donation value under Section A as they would securities or other assets with readily available price indices," Emmer wrote. "I urge the IRS to simplify this unnecessarily, and potentially unintended, complex reporting requirement for cryptocurrency donations by modifying Form 8283 to eliminate the appraisal requirement in the case of virtual currencies with easy to establish exchange or index prices."
According to prices tracked by Coindesk, Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, has risen slightly to around $38,000 per coin following the announcement. Rival Ethereum has fallen slighty to around $2,400 per coin, while Dogecoin also gained a small boost, trading around 30 cents per coin.
Cryptocurrency campaign contributions were previously accepted by some Democratic presidential candidates in 2020, including California Rep. Eric Swalwell and Andrew Yang.