Winklevoss twins refunded for bitcoin donations exceeding legal limit to Trump’s campaign: Report

    The billionaire Winklevoss twins, founders of the cryptocurrency company Gemini, recently made headlines after their substantial bitcoin donations to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign were partially refunded.

    According to a Bloomberg report, the portion of their donations that exceeded the maximum amount allowed under federal law was returned to them.

    This incident underscores the complexities and regulatory challenges surrounding cryptocurrency donations in political campaigns.

    Donation details and legal implications

    The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, announced on social media platform X that they had each donated $2 million in bitcoin to the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

    However, the legal limit for individual donations to a presidential campaign is $844,600. Consequently, the Trump 47 Committee, which accepted the bitcoin donations, had to refund the excess amount to comply with federal law.

    A campaign official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the excess funds were indeed returned to the donors. However, it remains unclear whether the refunded amount was in bitcoin or its equivalent value in cash.

    This ambiguity highlights the ongoing challenges in integrating cryptocurrency into traditional political fundraising mechanisms.

    Fund allocation and campaign finance dynamics

    The donated money was divided among several entities, including Trump’s campaign, a leadership political action committee (PAC) that handles his legal expenses, the Republican National Committee (RNC), and 42 GOP state party committees.

    This distribution reflects the intricate network of funding channels that support major political campaigns in the United States.

    Trump’s acceptance of bitcoin donations signals a growing alignment between his campaign and the cryptocurrency industry.

    As the 2024 election approaches, the crypto sector is emerging as a significant player, with investors and advocates rallying behind candidates who promise a more favorable regulatory environment for digital assets.

    The Winklevoss twins’ political and business engagements

    The Winklevoss brothers have a history of supporting political candidates and causes aligned with their business interests. They reportedly attended a high-profile fundraiser for Trump in June, with ticket prices reaching up to $300,000 per person.

    Additionally, they have donated approximately $5 million to the Fairshake political action committee and its affiliates, which have been active in running attack ads against certain lawmakers and backing selected Democratic and Republican candidates.

    The twins’ cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini, has also faced scrutiny and legal challenges. Users of Gemini’s Earn program, which allowed investors to earn yields on crypto assets in partnership with the now-bankrupt Genesis, spent months attempting to recover their funds.

    In a recent development, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office had recovered about $50 million from Gemini for users who were defrauded.

    Gemini had previously agreed in February to return at least $1.1 billion to customers as part of a settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had sued both Gemini and Genesis over the Earn program early last year, and Genesis has since settled the charges.

    As campaigns like Trump’s increasingly engage with the crypto industry, the need for clear regulatory guidelines and compliance mechanisms becomes more apparent.

    The post Winklevoss twins refunded for bitcoin donations exceeding legal limit to Trump’s campaign: Report appeared first on Invezz

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