Republican congressional committee will start accepting cryptocurrency donations

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual March dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

(Reuters) - The National Republican Congressional Committee will begin to accept donations in cryptocurrency, it said on Thursday.

The organization said it was the first national party committee to take contributions via cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which it said would help it support Republican candidates in next year's midterm elections.

"We are focused on pursuing every avenue possible to further our mission ... and retaking the House majority, and this innovative technology will help provide Republicans the resources we need to succeed," said NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer.

The move, first reported by Axios, comes during a volatile year for cryptocurrencies, with explosive growth and major tumbles.

The NRCC said it would accept cryptocurrency using Bitpay, which provides bitcoin and cryptocurrency payment services. The crypto-donations will be converted into U.S. dollars before they hit the committee's account, said NRCC spokesman Michael McAdams.

The Federal Election Committee in 2014 approved a $100 value for transfers of actual cryptocurrency.

McAdams said the NRCC would "accept all the same personal relevant information that we do with any other contribution up to the normal contribution limits."

Some U.S. political candidates, including Emmer and also former presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, have accepted donations via cryptocurrency.

Last week, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by David Gregorio)

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