Industry Advocates Call for Modernization of Campaign Finance Rules

Charleston SC (October 26, 2020) – Since Bitcoin’s inception in 2009, the idea and promise of blockchain technology has seized the imagination of engineers, scientists, and technologists around the world. These nascent and evolving innovations offer immense possibilities for business, government, and consumers. South Carolina has a unique opportunity to catalyze rapid economic growth, while fostering and encouraging innovation toward a new digital economy for the whole world to use.

PalmettoChain, a South Carolina based technology advocacy group with a special focus on blockchain technology, is advocating for South Carolina to be a national leader in this technological ecosystem. With both the state and federal election campaign cycle in full swing, the group recently requested the SC State Ethics Commission provide an Advisory Opinion regarding the acceptance of digital currencies by political candidates for campaign contributions in South Carolina elections. The state policy currently prohibits the contribution of digital currencies like bitcoin or ether to a political campaign.

However, the Federal Election Commission allows federal candidates to accept digital currencies to their campaigns.

“Bitcoin is just the very tip of the iceberg. Blockchain technology, the technology Bitcoin runs on, has the potential to expand participation in the political process and is revolutionizing almost every industry in our economy,” said Dennis Fassuliotis, Executive Director of PalmettoChain, Inc. “It’s critical that South Carolinians do not get left behind in this emerging technological frontier and there is no logical reason why we cannot be provided the option to participate in the democratic process using leading-edge payment technologies, like blockchain.”

Citizens and elected officials alike must understand that the United States’ technological preeminence is at risk if we fail to acknowledge the role blockchain technology will play in the global economy for many generations to come, similar to the Internet. Technology providers estimate that 10 percent of global GDP will likely be stored on blockchain technology by 2025 to 2027.

South Carolina’s unique position as a manufacturing center for the automotive and aircraft industries, an energy producer and logistics hub, and an emerging center for national defense cybersecurity operations pose equally unique opportunities that in a digital world are all computer hardware and software-driven. Furthermore, digital currencies are becoming a well-established financial tool. For example, almost 30% of American millennials and 15% of American adults have adopted digital currencies, which can be used to pay for goods and services from businesses such as Microsoft, AT&T and Overstock.

Roughly 33% of U.S. businesses large and small accept digital currencies for payments.

Stablecoins, one form of digital currency, have a market capitalization of over $20 billion and settle about $5 billion daily. In comparison, PayPay does about $2.5 billion in volume per day. The Chamber of Digital Commerce Political Action Committee provided a contribution in bitcoin to every incumbent U.S. Congressional campaign this month as an educational initiative to give elected officials a hands-on experience with digital currencies. “Now is the moment for all elected officials to learn about and embrace digital currencies and blockchain technology, and the best way to do that is to set up a digital wallet and get started on the blockchain journey,” said Perianne Boring, Founder and President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. “Many other nations like China, Japan, Singapore and Switzerland have rapidly embraced blockchain technology and created robust national plans to be global leaders in this area. The United States is falling behind in technological innovation and this is not a risk we should be willing to take.”

What's at stake is whether or not the U.S. and South Carolina will secure its place in a world headed at breakneck speed to go digital in the wake of a pandemic that has changed everyone’s life. At the heart of innovation in emerging technologies is blockchain. If South Carolina is going to be a leader in a digital economy, quick action on campaign finance is as good a place as any to start.

About PalmettoChain: PalmettoChain, Inc is a SC nonprofit established to educate and inform South Carolina leadership on the benefits of blockchain and other emerging technologies. Its mission is to advance the acceptance and use of blockchain technology, advocate for a favorable regulatory environment, educate citizens and leadership on the benefits of blockchain technology and encourage the cooperation of blockchain related groups and businesses in promoting the technology's adoption.

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