Could the Bitcoin Block Chain Improve Political Finance?

It was recently a headline that Political Action Committees had been raising funds before any candidates had announced their candidacy. It seems obvious that these groups have agendas that they’re going to push, without regard for who is running for office. Whichever candidate they can bend the most to their will, that is the candidate they’re going to support the most. That much should be obvious whenever examining the contributions to any political campaign.

Even the very populist candidates like Bernie Sanders, rest assured, they have large interests such as unions behind them. In an interesting twist to everything, unions in Los Angeles are looking to be exempt from the new minimum wage requirements. They see this more as an opportunity to get their hooks into businesses because then businesses working with the unions could pay less.

These events reveal obvious motivations of a political and financial nature. The use of the Bitcoin block chain could clearly alleviate much of the confusion. While it can be pseudo-anonymous, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. All donors could be required to register their sending address. Then using a block explorer, people could easily see the contributions on the block chain. There would be no need to wonder when or how the donations started because it would all be public information from the beginning.

There are more uses for block chain technology than merely moving value around for a few hundred thousand people. The block chain can be used to stamp validity onto things, the security of such stamps being hard to tamper with. The block chain can facilitate such uses without much of a footprint on the actual blocks. Factom is demonstrating this fact by using the block chain to stamp property records in Honduras, for example. Similar technology could be used in the United States to track campaign funding, and to track the contributions to Political Action Committees. There is no reason they should be exempt from special reporting requirements, given that they influence politics on a huge scale.

However you look at it; the Bitcoin revolution doesn’t need to stop at finance. The block chain technology brings with it many more potential applications than simply moving money around. Of course, the financial implications of Bitcoin itself are incredibly important. This cannot be understated. But at the same time, there is value in the ability to stamp records immutably, in such a way that an official cannot come along later and say that this record is not valid and that the actually own the property.

Applying the same technology to other highly sensitive parts of the economy, such as the stock market, wouldn’t be a horrible idea, either. These are technological applications that the block chain is simply perfect for, which would also benefit in that corruption would have to go away by design. All movements of money would be tracked, and it would be easy to require those moving money to register their public keys.

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