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U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (Al Mueller/Shutterstock)

Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota will accept crypto donations for his campaign.

The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus opened his first cryptocurrency town hall on Thursday with the announcement, telling CoinDesk that BitPay will process all donations. 

The town hall, announced last week, was held in conjunction with the Chamber of Digital Commerce PAC to celebrate innovators in the crypt industry and to encourage engaged voters to participate in political discourse.

CDC founder and President Perianne Boring told CoinDesk contributors can make donations to Emmer’s campaign using any of the eight cryptocurrencies supported by BitPay, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, Gemini’s U.S. dollar stablecoin and Circle’s USDC.

Emmer is not the first politician to accept crypto contributions. In 2015, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) accepted bitcoin to fund his presidential campaign. Last year, Democrats Rep. Eric Salwell of California and Andrew Yang both accepted crypto donations for their presidential campaigns as well. But, according to Boring, Rep. Emmer’s initiative is different. 

“He’s engaging the community. It’s more than just adding a button on his campaign website. It’s about including more people in the political process, especially young people who prefer to leverage advanced technologies,” Boring said.

The crypto town hall was described as a “celebration” of innovators in the crypto space, and featured industry leaders BitPay CEO Stephan Pair, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, eToro Managing Director Guy Hirsch, Bloq co-founder and Chairman Matthew Roszak as well as Paxos co-founder and CEO Chad Cascarilla. 

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