The Federal Election Commission (or Election Agency) of the United States has expressed its support for campaign fundraising through the creation of non-fungible tokens.
This opinion comes in response to an inquiry from DataVault Holdings, a company that asked if they can use this tool to raise funds. The FEC is a government agency that oversees the financing of political campaigns in U.S. federal elections.
As such, it was disclosed that by a notice dated December 15, the FEC gave its position on the company’s inquiry, expressly stating that DataVault is permitted to send NFTs to political campaign contributors, but on the condition that it does not violate cooperative contribution rules.
At the beginning of the advisory opinion documentThe U.S. agency makes a brief summary of the account of the facts, stating that what is contained in the opinion is due to presentations made by the company DataVault in September, complementary material received in October and also in November of the year 2022.
The document then goes on to explain NFTs, stating that they are digital tokens, usually of works of art, music, games, or digital collectibles, that are hosted on blockchain.
DataVault Holdings is a Delaware corporation whose principal business involves the creation and sale of NFTs. Specifically, the company requested that the FEC rule on the possibility of providing NFTs as souvenirs to individuals who support political committees, similar to what is customary with caps, hats, campaign patches. Such NFTs should be given in a non-partisan manner and should not seek to persuade the voter to affect or influence his or her opinion.
The company stated that through this proposal it will be possible to create personalized NFTs that include a file such as images, music, videos or graphic material of the campaign, to be used as a souvenir for voters. At the same time, they will also have the function so that contributors who wish to make a contribution to the party of their choice can do so.
The big difference that NFTs make, is that their holders can use them to support the party of their choice on a voluntary basis and without remuneration. In this way, any expenses linked to non-financial transactions will be understood as Fundraising Expenses.
Another piece of information obtained from the company’s application is that the company will issue a bronze NFT to those contributors who make a $10 contribution. Then, at the time of transferring the NFT to the contributor, a fee of $3 dollars will be paid to the company.
These NFTs will contain a work of art, campaign literature, or other digital content such as videos, audios, or interactive content. Likewise, when issuing an NFT, the company will provide different benefits to its holders, such as exclusive or VIP access to certain campaign events.
Allen Dickerson, current chair of the FEC, said the election agency concludes that DataVault’s proposal to deliver NFTs to political commissions on identical terms as they do with their non-political clients would be an extension of credit by the company in the normal conduct of its business.
Through the backing of FEC regulations, a commercial seller can issue loans to political committees on terms similar to those it offers to its non-political customers.
On the other hand, DataVault CEO Nathaniel Bradley, was very grateful with the stance taken by the FEC. He expressed that they are convinced that blockchain technology is the future of those who promote and support it, who demand trust and transparency in its development for the future.
To mention a case carried out this year 2022, the current president of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol, also made use of NFTs in his election campaign, with an issuance of more than 20,000 non-fungible tokens.
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Written by Luciano Garriga (TW:@luchogarriga) for NFT Express