A slew of new political and electoral integrity legislation proposed in Ireland would prohibit contributions to political parties in the country paid in crypto donations.
Donations to political parties made via crypto donations would be prohibited in Ireland under new political integrity legislation being prepared in response to concerns about foreign meddling in politics.
Among the amendments suggested by Minister Darragh O'Brien are laws governing foreign contributions, disinformation, and other transparency requirements for political parties, which he says are necessary because of concerns about Russian intervention in Ireland's elections.
During an interview with the Independent on April 18th, O'Brien said that the rules would help preserve Ireland's democratic system "given the rising danger of cyber warfare attacking free nations" and that a newly constituted Electoral Commission will ensure that the regulations are adhered to. It is still unknown what proportion or monetary amount of political contributions are now being made to political parties or individuals via digital currencies. After contacting Minister O'Brien and the Standards in Public Office Commission for comment, Cointelegraph did not get a response within a short period.
O'Brien began his effort to modify the regulations in January 2022, when he established a task team of political scientists and legal professionals to study new election laws in response to growing worries over the escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. As a result, the task force recommended many steps that would help to create a "legal and digital bulwark" against election intervention in the nation, such as parties giving expedited accounting reporting and declarations on conformity to the country's new political fundraising regulations.
Political contributions made using crypto donations banned are not uncommon; in 2018, California prohibited the practice, citing concerns about transparency, and those crypto donations banned are "difficult to monitor." According to statistics from Multistate, three additional states in the United States, including Oregon, Michigan, and North Carolina, have laws prohibiting the use of political crypto donations in campaign finance.
In the past, the Irish central bank has taken a negative stance against political crypto donations; as late as February, the bank warned that it was unlikely to approve investment funds having exposure to foreign crypto donations banned for individual investors due to a "lack of a high degree of understanding" on the subject.
Additionally, the Central Bank of Ireland warned customers about foreign crypto donations banned the following month, recommending them to be wary of "the dangers of deceptive promotions, notably on social media, where influencers are being paid to promote Ireland's ban crypto donations assets.