This Libertarian Presidential Hopeful Wants Your Bitcoin Donations

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/adamcrowe/5897030158/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Adam Crowe</a>/Flickr

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Darryl W. Perry says he’s running for president in 2016 as a libertarian, and he’s pledging to be the first White House hopeful to accept Bitcoin, the online currency currently en vogue in tech and libertarian circles.

Bitcoin appeals to libertarians who are skeptical of the Federal Reserve and other central banking institutions. As Jim Harper, the director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, recently told Mother Jones, “There are types like me, libertarian gold-buggish folks,” for whom “inflation is a constant worry” and who “see the cryptography in Bitcoin as insulation against inflation.” The US Libertarian Party accepts Bitcoin donations on its website, and the Libertarian Party of Canada joined the Bitcoin bandwagon in March.

Perry laid out his decision to accept Bitcoin in a recent open letter to the Federal Election Commission, the nation’s beleaguered elections watchdog. The Darryl W. Perry for President campaign, he said, will not accept any donations “in currencies recognized by the federal legal tender laws.” The only currencies going into Perry’s campaign war chest are Bitcoin, Litecoin (another online currency), and precious metals. “I am attempting to put into practice a belief that I hold that we should get rid of the Federal Reserve, which is a central bank,” he recently explained. “And unlike some who want to get rid of the Fed, I don’t want the government stepping in to fill the void.”

Believe it or not, refusing to accept actual money may not be Perry’s biggest obstacle to running for president. Unlike the Libertarian Party, Perry disavows the very existence of the FEC and denies its authority to regulate campaigns. Perry says he will not file any paperwork with the commission establishing his presidential campaign, nor will he disclose whom his bitcoin/litecoin/gold contributors are or how he spends their money. He ends his letter by writing, “I intend this to be the last communication I have with this commission as part of my campaign.”

How serious is Perry’s candidacy? His website is, well, far from inspiring, and there’s one brief mention of him on the US Libertarian Party’s website. But he’s nonetheless one of the early Bitcoin adopters in politics, following candidates in North Dakota, Vermont, and New Hampshire who decided to accept the online currency. Provided Bitcoin doesn’t bottom out in the months or years ahead—the price of a Bitcoin is vulnerable to wild swings, evidenced by a 60-percent drop a few weeks ago, quickly shedding $115 in value—I wouldn’t be surprised to see more libertarian types embrace Bitcoin donations.

Therein lies a challenge: Explaining Bitcoin to the average voter is hard enough. If the FEC ever tried to regulate it, well, good luck.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate