Rep. Eric Swalwell became the second 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to accept cryptocurrency donations.
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On Thursday, the California Democrat announced via the blockchain firm The White Company that his campaign will accept donations of six different types of crypto, including: bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, stellar, bitcoin SV and the white standard (which is the White Company’s own crypto token).
“Blockchain can change the world, if we let it,” Swalwell said in a brief video on the donations page. “Is there a risk? Sure. That’s why we must test, re-test and constantly monitor such systems for interference or abuses by using expert oversight....Government has to keep up with the times, and the times have changed. We must study, but ultimately embrace these new frontiers.”
Swalwell joins fellow Democratic candidate Andrew Yang, the founder of Venture for America, in accepting crypto donations. Yang first announced that he would do so in July, accepting bitcoin, ethereum and “other cryptocurrencies.”
Yang has repeatedly stated that he believes blockchain is an important part of the future. He was the first 2020 candidate to release a policy statement for crypto assets, noting that his goal is to create “clear guidelines in the digital asset world so that businesses and individuals can invest and innovate in the area without fear of a regulatory shift,” he said in a statement.
Swalwell also recently signed a letter addressed to the Internal Revenue Service seeking additional guidance on the tax consequences and basic reporting requirements for cryptocurrency users.
“There are many other open questions about the federal taxation of virtual currencies, but we feel that there is particular urgency in resolving the ambiguity around basic questions of how taxpayers should calculate and track the basis of their virtual currency holdings,” the letter said. “It is not reasonable to expect taxpayers to satisfactorily answer these complex questions while the IRS remains silent. “