Practically any Bitcoin enthusiast will know there is one major problem with our beloved digital currency: so many people are hoarding coins and not effectively spending them. In order to build a viable economy, we need to create ways to spend more Bitcoins. But could you actually end up in jail for collecting too many Bitcoins? Apparently you can, if you live in Finland.
Pirate Party Finland
Nearly every [European] country has its very own Pirate Party in terms of politics. And that is a good thing, as it just goes to show that, despite there not being all that many people were joining such a party, there is a legitimate demand for one to be in existence. After all, politics is all about free speech and getting things done, isn’t it?
Finland is no exception to this rule, as the Pirate Party Finland is one of the more successful ones to be found around the world. With over 3,600 members – since its inception in 2008, that is a staggering number – and its very own youth wing – Pirate Youth – this is one political party to keep an eye on in the years to come.
In fact, the Pirate Party Finland has had some successes when it comes to elections as well. In 2011, during the Finnish parliamentary elections, the PPFI gathered 0.5% of the total votes cast, spread amongst 127 candidates in 11 constituencies. As a result, they became the largest party in Parliament without a seat. Things got even better during the 2014 European Parliament elections, during which the PPFI gathered 12,378 votes – 0.7% of all total votes.
More information on the Pirate Party Finland can be found here.
Collecting Bitcoin For Campaign Funding
Campaign funds are hard to come by, which is why the Pirate Party Finland decided to accept Bitcoin donations. According to Finnish law, you can collect up to 1,500 EUR per year in anonymous donations – which is not all that much when you consider it. However, Bitcoin donations are a bit of a “grey zone”, as they are anonymous and not-anonymous at the same time.
Furthermore, Finland does not recognize Bitcoin as a currency, which only makes it harder to define the term “donation”. In fact, Finnish police officers have publicly stated “they have little idea of how Bitcoin donations should be handled”. However, that doesn’t mean you can get away with exceeding the annual 1,500 EUR donation cap though.
According to Jonna Purojärvi, – press spokesperson for Pirate Party Finland – they have already surpassed the 1,500 EUR anonymous donation cap. As a result, the PPFI may become subject to a court case, which could very well set a precedent for the legality of Bitcoin donations in Finland.
Ever since the PPFI started accepting Bitcoin donations, they have received over 47 BTC – worth roughly 11,500 EUR – to their address.Most of this funds was donated to a Finnish “conservative party” accused Pirate Party Finland of “receiving illegal sponsorship”.