Ireland Plans Blanket Ban on Political Donations in Crypto

Bob Mason
Published: Apr 19, 2022, 01:30 UTC

Russian cyberattacks are on the rise, with thwarting an attack last week. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has raised the alarm bells.


Key Insights:

  • Ireland plans to impose a blanket ban on all political donations in crypto.
  • Russian cyber-interference has given government minister Darragh O’Brien cause for concern.
  • Ireland’s plans buck a growing trend of politics embracing digital assets to woo young voters.

Concerns over Russian attempts to bypass sanctions via digital assets have forced governments to take extreme measures to counter any threat.

Sanctions on Russia are beginning to bite, raising the threat of cyberattacks. On Monday, FX Empire reported thwarting a DDoS attack by Russian cybercriminals.

There is also the threat of Russian influence on the outcome of democratic elections.

Ireland Views Possible Ban on Political Party Donations in Crypto

On Monday, news hit the wires of the Irish government planning to ban political party donations in crypto.

According to Monday’s report, “new political integrity rules” are in the works to prevent Russian interference in the political process.

In addition to banning crypto donations, there is also the requirement for parties to disclose all foreign donations.

Local government Minister Darragh O’Brien, tasked with electoral reform, notified Ireland’s party leaders of the planned reforms.

Monday’s report indicated that Ireland’s Cabinet agreed to the new rules, including addressing interference via social media platforms.

An Electoral Commission, currently being put together, will have the power to,

“issue take-down notices and real-time alerts of potential election interference during campaigns.”

In terms of timing, Mr. O’brien reportedly said,

“In light of the urgency of the challenges, I aim, with your co-operation, to pass this legislation and have the new Electoral Commission Established by the summer recess.”

The next Irish general election will be on or before 20 February 2025.

Ireland’s position on cryptos has been a mixed one. Last year, Derville Rowland, Director General Financial Conduct at the Central Bank of Ireland, raised concerns over the increased popularity of cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC).

Ireland’s position on political party donations is in stark contrast to other countries, including the United States.

Irish Politics Bucks a Recent Trend in Politics and Crypto Adoption

While Ireland looks to impose a blanket ban on political parties accepting crypto donations, other nations have turned to crypto to support political campaigns.

This year, South Korea turned to cryptos and NFTs to draw in the younger vote. Lawmaker Lee Kwang-jae announced accepting political campaign donations in crypto and issuing receipts in the form of NFTs. Campaign donors were able to donate Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH), among others.

Days before the South Korean Presidential Election, election candidates wooed young voters with NFTs.

In recent years, U.S politicians have also become more embracing of cryptos.

Earlier in the year, New York City Mayor Adams confirmed that he would take his first three paychecks in Bitcoin (BTC).

Mayor Adams had first pledged to take a Bitcoin salary during his bid to become Mayor. Alongside New York City, Miami is another progressive crypto U.S State. Miami City Mayor Suarez had been the first to announce taking a Bitcoin salary.

About the Author

Bob Masonauthor

With over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, Bob has been managing regional teams across Europe and Asia and focusing on analytics across both corporate and financial institutions. Currently he is covering developments relating to the financial markets, including currencies, commodities, alternative asset classes, and global equities.

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