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Ireland drafts law halting crypto donations to political parties

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Ireland has formulated a new law targeting cryptocurrency donations made to political parties in the country. The new law was created by a task force created by Minister Darragh O’Brien earlier this year.

Ireland wants to halt crypto donations

The task force created by O’Brien comprises political scientists and legal experts who will be investigating the new election rules formulated for the country. The law seeks to create a “legal and digital bulwark” that will deter foreign interference during elections, especially with the recent Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Banning cryptocurrency donations is expected to reduce interference by Russian forces. Russia is currently considering legalizing cryptocurrencies to avoid the heavy sanctions imposed on the country by Western countries. The country is also planning to use Bitcoin to pay for oil and gas.

The proposed amendment also talks about misinformation and seeks to promote political transparency. O’Brien said that the laws would protect Ireland’s democracy given the increased threat of cyberattacks. A new electoral commission will ensure that political parties are compliant with the given regulations.

Currently, it remains unclear of the number of donations that political parties in Ireland or individuals in the country that have received donations in cryptocurrencies. Ireland’s central bank has said that it was unlikely for the relevant regulators to approve investment funds that will offer exposure to crypto retailers.

After a month, the bank issued a warning regarding the increased risk of cryptocurrencies and how misleading advertisements were targeting naïve investors who risked massive financial losses.

Controversy with crypto donations

Crypto donations have been a controversial topic. In Ukraine, cryptocurrencies are being used to support the ongoing war. Around $100M worth of digital assets has been donated to the Ukrainian government to help with the war effort.

However, Ireland is not alone in declaring cryptocurrencies illegal. In 2018, California banned crypto donations saying that there were issued with transparency. Cryptocurrency transactions are considered hard to track especially if anonymity tools or privacy coins are used. Other US States to ban cryptocurrencies include Michigan, North Carolina and Oregon.

There has also been concern about some popular members of the crypto community that are using cryptocurrencies to make donations to people and later demand favors. The CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried has made crypto donations to politicians vying for a position in the US House of Representatives. While the donations were not made in cryptocurrencies, they spiked controversy.

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