Several Bitcoin enthusiasts who support US presidential candidate Andrew Yang today announced the launch of a super political action committee (PAC), Humanity Forward Fund (Humanity FWD).
The PAC’s payment processing service will reportedly accept Bitcoin payments through the Lightning Network (LN), a second-layer scalability solution for conducting faster BTC transactions, reports CoinDesk. OpenNode, an LN-enabled platform that automatically converts Bitcoin to local fiat currencies, will be used to process payments received by Humanity FWD.
Cryptocurrency wallets that support LN transactions will be able to donate to the PAC from anywhere in the world.
Explaining why Lightning Network-powered Bitcoin transactions may help encourage more people to make donations, OpenNode co-founder Afnan Rahman says,
“The super PAC obviously wants to receive donations as large as possible. But at the same time, individuals who want to donate just a bit to Yang’s platform now have that opportunity.”
Rahman, who’s also the co-founder of Masen, a Bitcoin-focused design and technology studio, points out that LN-based Bitcoin payments via OpenNode allow donors to contribute the entire payment to support a particular initiative, instead of having to pay miner fees.
According to Seth Cohen, Humanity FWD’s founder, the committee will only take Bitcoin payments during the first 21 days. After this time period, donations in fiat currencies will also be accepted.
Cohen also mentions that Humanity FWD’s managers have not yet decided whether to convert Bitcoin payments to fiat and that organizations must adhere to appropriate regulatory requirements when campaigns “potentially earn or lose money.”
The PAC will be required to maintain records of changes in Bitcoin’s price after accepting donations in the pseudonymous cryptocurrency. Despite having to carefully document each BTC transaction, Cohen notes that OpenNode’s relatively low 1% processing fee makes such payments a better alternative to dealing with credit card processors that charge significantly more.
In April 2019, Yang issued a statement that recommended developing clear policies and guidelines for cryptocurrency transactions so that US-based businesses and individuals can “invest and innovate in the area without fear of a regulatory shift.”
According to Yang,
“Cryptocurrency … markets have developed faster than regulations can keep up…Several states have conflicting and varying regulations on digital asset markets.”
He added that regulatory uncertainty in the US has led to relatively lower investments in the digital asset sector when compared to more crypto-friendly jurisdictions.
Yang’s official campaign website states that he intends to “promote legislation that provides clarity” for the cryptoasset and blockchain industry.
Commenting on Yang’s pro-crypto stance, Cohen says,
“There seems to be a lot of interest in Andrew’s forward-thinking policy, his views on Bitcoin, specifically. We would like to raise enough to have a significant impact on this election.”
Notably, this isn’t the first time that a politician’s supporters will be donating to a campaign or PAC in Bitcoin. Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader who’s considered one of President Vladmir Putin’s main opponents, has reportedly received over 600 BTC in donations, worth roughly $6 million at current prices, in the past three years.