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Bitcoin donations welcome, Newport Beach City Council candidate says

Bitcoin donations welcome, Newport Beach City Council candidate says
A mock-up of a twenty-five bitcoin piece. The digital currency is being accepted by a Newport Beach City Council candidate. (Tomohiro Ohsumi / Bloomberg)

When Newport Beach City Council candidate Michael Glenn thinks of freedom, that includes the freedom to choose how to donate -- be it with dollar, peso or bitcoin.

Glenn claims to be the first local politician to accept campaign donations in the esoteric digital currency. He is running against businesswoman Diane Dixon and Harbor Commissioner Joe Stapleton for the Balboa Peninsula's 1st District council seat.

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Glenn's announcement comes just weeks after customers used bitcoins to pay for a Tesla, and then a Lamborghini, from a Costa Mesa dealership.

The idea of accepting donations of bitcoins for his political campaign had been brewing until, after about two months of research into potential legal issues, Glenn took his online payment system live Wednesday, the Daily Pilot reported.

While he is not sure how many donations — if any — will eventually come of it, he sees the move as being in line with the ideology of an open and accessible politician who simultaneously desires to be inclusive and challenge the status quo.

"The things I'm doing are not necessarily for the benefit of my campaign," he said. "They're for the benefit of where I think the structure should be going."

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emily.foxhall@latimes.com

Twitter: @emfoxhall

Emily Foxhall is a Times Community News staff writer.

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