Crowdfunding Muddies Election Contributions

Cryptocurrency and crowdfunding are becoming problematic for Elections Canada.


Canada doesn’t have the Citizens United ruling and thus it can limit campaign financing to anyone  donating  up to CA$1,600 to a registered political party or candidate per year as long as s/he is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. Corporations and unions are not “persons” in Canada and can’t contribute.

All donations are tracked by the government.

However, campaigns seeking contributions on crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe are not trackable and thus the limitations on amounts and personages (including prohibited foreign persons) cannot be enforced.

While Elections Canada has adopted a rule for tracking Bitcoin donations, compliance depends on the truthfulness of the donor because the blockchain is technically anonymous.

And Elections Canada has prohibited using Bitcoin by campaigns for purchases.

Clearly, crypto allows for more mischief in a situation that calls for more clarity.

About JeffKoeppel

I am a corporate/securities attorney in the Washington, DC area. Prior to joining the firm, I was a Senior Attorney Advisor in the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. I am a member of the Bars of the States of Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia. You can also follow this blog on LinkedIn at:
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