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Josh Leavitt Changes Nevada Policy on Cryptocurrency Campaign Donations

October 27, 2023

LAS VEGAS, NV - Josh Leavitt, a Nevada State Senate candidate for District 18, is the first candidate in Nevada to accept cryptocurrency for campaign donations. Josh is well known for his support and advocacy of Las Vegas innovation, technology careers, and the startup community.

Cryptocurrency is a form of decentralized virtual currency that is managed by a peer-to-peer digital ledger called blockchain. Every time a new transaction happens with a cryptocurrency, like when someone sends another person digital currency, that transaction gets added to the ledger. What makes blockchain unique is that instead of being kept in one place, like a traditional ledger in a bank, it's stored on many computers all over the world. Each computer has a copy of the same ledger. This makes it incredibly secure because if someone wants to cheat or change a transaction, they'd have to change it on all the copies of the ledger at the same time, which is nearly impossible. That said, the ability to operate anonymously is a central piece of crypto technology.

Aware that blockchain can be a complicated technology to fully grasp, he decided to accept cryptocurrency donations to provide a voice for supporters of blockchain and create opportunities for legislators to learn more about the technology in order to make informed decisions during legislative sessions.

His first hurdle was to change policy in Nevada. At the time, Nevada had a strict policy against allowing cryptocurrency donations due to concerns about the ability to complete campaign finance reporting requirements and disclosures.

In August, Josh and his campaign team spoke with the Nevada Secretary of State's office to explain the process of accepting cryptocurrency in a way to ensure the campaign could collect donor and transaction information required by State statute.

Working with Coinbase, the largest and most regulated cryptocurrency platform, Josh and his campaign demonstrated the ability to limit donation amounts, automatically convert donations to dollars, and collect the required information to adhere to campaign finance laws (names, addresses, amounts (in US dollars), and transaction dates).

With this new information, Nevada's Secretary of State office changed policy and allowed cryptocurrency donations to be accepted in Nevada. Josh is excited about the change in policy since it opens the door for more Nevadans to participate in the election process and be heard by legislators interested in learning more about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Josh is the first candidate in Nevada to accept cryptocurrency donations.

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