Capitol Alert

The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Newsom’s bitcoin foray draws deceivers

07/08/2014 3:48 PM

07/08/2014 3:49 PM

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s bold experiment in accepting campaign contributions via bitcoin has generated its own set of disruptors.

Newsom – a booster of the state’s high-tech sectors – said he began taking bitcoin to persuade regulators to sign off on the virtual currency. “You know me, I tend to lean (into) things. And (I) am happy to take some arrows,” Newsom said in a recent interview with LinkedIn’s Mike Kim.

But mixed among the dozens of bitcoin donations received so far were some duds, Newsom explained.

“Some people have been sending ‘Joe Schmo’... fake names with 123 Main Street addresses, and trying to trip us up,” he said, calling the trend a concern.

The law holds donors legally accountable for accurately representing themselves, and his campaign has taken all of the necessary steps to vet their claims, Newsom said. To deal with currency fluctuations, he said the campaign immediately converts bitcoin to dollars.

“It’s fun ’cause it’s new,” he said. “And it could be the most enlivening and disruptive technology.”

Capitol Alert staff

Amy Chance
Political editor

Dan Smith
Capitol bureau chief

Jim Miller
California policy and politics
Capitol Alert editor

David Siders
Brown administration

Christopher Cadelago
California politics and health care

Laurel Rosenhall
Legislature, lobbying, higher education

Jeremy B. White

Alexei Koseff
Insider Edition editor


Join the Discussion

The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service