Washington State’s congressional candidate B.J. Guillot announced last week that his campaign would now be accepting Bitcoin donations via BitPay. The Republican has been a staunch supporter of Bitcoin since 2013 and attained his first bit of the digital currency in May of the same year. Guillot has since advocated for the use of Bitcoin throughout commerce and most recently, campaign support. Surprisingly, the candidate also spends time mining Bitcoin, something that is almost unheard of in the political arena.
Earlier this year, Congressman Jared Polis became the first US Representative to purchase bitcoin, when a Bitcoin ATM was put on display in Congress. It seems that Polis, the Colorado Democrat, may now have some company in regards to Bitcoin support if Guillot receives the congressional seat. Unlike Polis, B.J. Guillot is an avid bitcoin user, miner and believer in bipartisan support of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
To this day, the Washington candidate continues to stick to his mining efforts, focusing on bitcoin solely and has not ventured into mining any of the popular altcoins. Apart from Bitcoin, Guillot is also a strong supporter of Internet security and privacy rights, a monumental issue that remains of utmost importance throughout the cryptocurrency space.
Guillot is running for the seat in Washington state’s 2nd Congressional District, which contains his family’s home in Maryville. He is very well-versed in established and emerging technologies and received a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Houston. From that point, Guillot has been highly involved in software development and management, which seems to solidify his passion for new technologies. Most of his main issues revolve around internet freedom, NSA spying, patent reform, Bitcoin and bringing manufacturing and jobs back to the United States.
Strangely enough, a majority of his issues do not seem much like that of a “normal” Republican candidate. Guillot defends this by reinforcing the importance of keeping an open mind, going against the grain and that being involved with a political party does not mean you have to agree with the entire party platform. “My educational background in computer science and mathematics along a love of science and technology have shaped many of my opinions and beliefs,” Guillot stated in a recent interview.
Since the candidate began accepting Bitcoin donations there has been a lot of success. According to Guillot, over 10% of campaign revenues have come from bitcoin donations. Although donations cannot be anonymous due to FEC compliance, many users and supporters are taking advantage of this great opportunity. Because of the FEC rules, contributors must share their name and address in order to donate, which could cause controversy within the Bitcoin community due to the lack of anonymity. However, Guillot’s campaign is a monumental step forward for Bitcoin’s future role in politics and mainstream commerce.
Primary voting begins on July 18 and continues for nearly a month, until August 5. To make a bitcoin donation to B.J. Guillot’s Washington congressional campaign, users can visit http://www.vote4bj.com/ and click the “donate” button and follow the instructions. Building support for Bitcoin throughout the United States government is very important and with the success of Bitcoin in the Beltway, the excitement and support is hopefully going to continue.