FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2012
Jeremy Hansen of Berlin, Vermont, a professor of computer science and independent candidate for Vermont’s State Senate representing Washington County announced today that he would accept campaign contributions in the form of Bitcoin, a digital currency. After verifying the digital currency’s appropriateness with both the Vermont Secretary of State’s office and the Vermont Attorney General’s office, Hansen determined that Bitcoin-denominated contributions can be legally accepted and documented as “in-kind” donations, so long as the donations are under certain limits, originate from U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and certain personal information is maintained about the contributors.
Josh Jones, co-founder of DreamHost and creator of Bitcoin Builder, created a custom system for Hansen’s campaign and offers it to any other political candidate interested in accepting Bitcoin. Jones said, “I feel like Bitcoin is perfect for campaign contributions because of its ability to do micro-transactions at low-to-no cost. Unfortunately, there are technical hurdles to accepting them, as well as some confusion about legality due to their potential for being used anonymously. The system up now at http://www.bitcoinbuilder.com/donate/ allows political campaigns to create donation forms in one click that comply with the legal requirements Jeremy and I have identified.” Jones has indicated that he doesn’t initially intend to charge for this service.
Hansen is running on a platform to accurately represent the views of the residents of Washington County, even when those views conflict with his own. With volunteer help, he has built the https://Directrep.us website to allow citizens to weigh the pros and cons of a wide variety of issues, from Berlin Pond to Green Mountain Care.