Ireland to ban crypto donations to political parties citing foreign influence during elections


TL;DR Breakdown

  • Ireland to introduce a crypto ban to counter alleged Russian cyber interference.
  • Part of the crypto ban covers social media misinformation.

Ireland has implemented electoral reforms that prohibit political parties from accepting cryptocurrency donations. Ireland’s political integrity will be addressed through new rules on political honesty in the face of Russian cyber-interference in the democratic process. According to local reports, the government prohibits political parties from accepting cryptocurrency donations under the new political integrity rules that the government has just released.

Ireland announces election reforms that include a crypto ban

Darragh O’Brien, a local government official assigned responsibility for electoral reform, sent a letter to party leaders outlining his intention to propose various initiatives to counteract malign foreign meddling in elections. Foreign donations will be restricted. Furthermore, due to legislative reform, parties will be required to disclose all property holdings fully.

The authorities are preparing to put in place more robust limitations on all foreign donations as part of broader electoral law reform. The country would modify election financing rules to specify how political parties and individuals may receive financial support from alternative sources.

Furthermore, the yet-to-be-created task force of legal and political scientists would have the authority to take down social media firms and clarify online misinformation that could impact the election process. Ireland is recognized for its harsh stance against “misleading” crypto advertising, to which the country’s central bank recently issued a warning to crypto investors.

Furthermore, there will be a discussion of new rules regulating how and from whom political parties may obtain campaign money. All political parties must now be able to produce consolidated accounts that adhere to global standards and best accounting practices. Furthermore, all leaders of political parties will be required to submit signed statements of compliance with the new funding regulations.

Russia’s interference in Ireland

O’Brien contrasted the Russian incursion into Ukraine to how dangerous politically-charged disinformation is for democracies worldwide.

The appalling invasion of Ukraine and insidious disinformation war highlight the ongoing fundamental threats faced by all democracies 

he stated.

In January 2022, O’Brien began his bid to revolutionize Ireland’s approach to electoral law. He assigned Attorney General Paul Gallagher to lead a group of legal and political scientists to create a legal and technological bulwark against bad influence in Irish elections.

Over the past several years, Russian influence in Ireland has been modest but significant. The Conti cyber attack, which overwhelmed the Health Service Executive (HSE) computer system in May 2021, marked the start of digital foreign influence in the country. The incident highlights how a weakening in national security might have repercussions. According to reports, the crime syndicate Wizard Spider carried out the assault.

Russian interference in Ireland has been subtle but effective over the years. In 2018, the government enacted emergency legislation to prevent a significant expansion of the Russian Embassy in Dublin. The Irish government saw this as a potential house for signals intelligence infrastructure.

Further, Ireland’s relationship with cryptocurrency has been rocky. Last year, the head of the country’s national bank warned that the rise in popularity is “of great concern.”

Russia’s crypto news highlights

A prominent Russian bank association has suggested making it a criminal offense to keep cryptocurrency in self-custody wallets in other news. The Association of Banks of Russia, a nongovernmental organization representing the Russian banking and finance sector, has proposed that cryptocurrencies get banned from being kept outside non-custodial wallets on centralized exchanges.

According to Anatoly Kozlachkov, vice president of the banking association, the regulatory framework designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs initially sought to criminalize self-custody.

According to the banking association, the Russian government is purportedly attempting to establish a “closed circuit” crypto-economy within its borders, something that can’t happen without establishing a suitable system for the foreclosure of assets held in non-custodial wallets.

Moreover, Exmo, a cryptocurrency trading platform based in London, has also announced it will cease operations in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus because of Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine.

On April 18, Exmo announced that it had sold its digital asset business in Russia and Belarus to a Russian software development firm. The purchase price and the deal amount are yet to be made public revealed at this time.

Exmo has revised its user agreement to note that Russian, Belarusian, and Kazakh nationals will no longer enroll on the site as part of Exmo’s exit from Russia and Belarus. On April 15, the exchange disabled Russian ruble trading pairs.

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Florence Muchai

Florence is a crypto enthusiast and writer who loves to travel. As a digital nomad, she explores the transformative power of blockchain technology. Her writing reflects the limitless possibilities for humanity to connect and grow.

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