A contender for Congress in Florida wishes to give ethereum-based tokens to campaign volunteers in a new effort to motivate them to improve their work — and national officials look like they are ready to give their approval.

In late May, Omar Reyes-who is running for office in Florida’s 22nd Congressional District as an independent candidate- had his campaign team send a letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in search of permission for the distribution of ethereum-based tokens to possible volunteers and any voters willing to participate in their cryptocurrency experiment.

ERC-20 Token Issuance

The token, dubbed “Omar2020 token” is based on the ERC-20 standard, which enables the creation of tokens on the ethereum network. Based on the content of the Reyes campaign’s letter, the types of activities they are looking to recompense include registering as a volunteer, signing up for a mailing list, or hosting official campaign events.

In addition, the campaign’s letter lays emphasis on the fact that the tokens possess no monetary value, and explains that the tokens would basically act as a digital board for volunteers. The letter revealed that as the campaign draws to a close, their committee would like to reward volunteers with the highest amount of (OMR) tokens with the choice of one of three gifts of our appreciation, paid for by the Omar2020 committee.

An outlined advisory opinion which was issued early in July and credited to Federal Election Commission chair Ellen Weintraub shows that officials will give their permission to the experiment, remarking that the tokens on their own are equivalent to more traditional types of campaign souvenirs, such as bumper stickers, yard signs or buttons and wouldn’t run against the federal statutes.

Similar To Campaign Souvenirs Due To No Value 

According to the outlined advisory opinion, the Commission has concluded that the Committee may distribute OMR Tokens to volunteers and supporters as a motivation to engage in volunteer activities as described in the request because OMR Tokens do not create compensation; relatively, OMR Tokens are substantially identical to  traditional forms of campaign souvenirs and nothing in the Act or Commission regulations prohibits a campaign committee from distributing free campaign souvenirs to volunteers or supporters.

It’s appears the infrastructure behind the token was the reason it was accepted. Since we now know OMR Tokens will have no monetary value and act as a “campaign souvenir”, it eliminates the need for people to think they are receiving something that may go up in value. If OMR Token had the same infrastructure as most ERC-20 Tokens, we find it hard to believe it would have been implemented at the current regulatory stages we face. We still are seeing regulatory progressions move very slowly, as leaders are still trying to understand cryptocurrency and blockchain. Many want mass adoption to occur and it looks like regulators / leaders are receiving a lot of pressures. Last night we mentioned, President Donald Trump shared his Cryptocurrency thoughts on Twitter.

The request from Omar is not the first time that Federal Election Commission officials have contemplated opinion appeals that focus in some way on cryptocurrencies. As an instance, the Federal Election Commission of late, considered whether a campaign could accept donations in the form of cryptocurrency mining rewards. The Federal Election Commission gave its ultimate approval in April with a caveat that such actions do not amount to a form of volunteering as originally proposed.

The most insightful decision up to now was the 2014 view that opened the door to cryptocurrency donations to campaigns. At the time, the Federal Election Commission said that it would take into account a bitcoin contribution as an in-kind donation. That move set in motion, a number of political campaigns in the U.S. to ask for crypto-donations, including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential bid.

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