(1) A candidate or political committee may accept electronic contributions from online payment service providers and payment gateways as contributions.
(a) A contribution made through a payment gateway, such as Bitcoin or other electronic peer-to-peer systems, shall be converted to U.S. dollars at the prevailing rate within twenty-four hours of receipt.
(b) A contribution made through an online service provider, such as Paypal or Google Wallet, shall be deposited in the campaign account.
(c) Any electronic contribution shall be deposited in the designated campaign account within five business days of actual receipt or conversion.
(2) All electronic contributions shall be reported according to the requirements for contributions set out in these rules.
(a) An electronic contribution shall be reported as received on the day the electronic contribution is made to the online service provider or payment gateway, regardless of whether the contribution has actually been received.
(b) The full value of the contribution shall be reported as received from the contributor, not the amount as received from the service.
(c) Each service charge or conversion fee incurred or discounted by the payment service provider shall be reported as a campaign expenditure in accordance with these rules.
(d) When receiving a payment by credit card:
(i) the candidate shall report the service charge as a campaign expenditure.
(ii) a committee shall report the service charge as a campaign expenditure if paid from the campaign account; or
(iii) as an in-kind contribution received from the committee's associated organization.
(3) Anonymous contributions shall never be accepted.
(4) If the electronic contribution amount exceeds the candidate contribution limit, the contributor must be issued a refund for the excess funds via check or through an online payment system from the campaign account. If it is not possible to return only a portion of the funds, the entire contribution must be returned.
(5) All candidates and political committees that receive electronic contributions are subject to the same limits, prohibitions, reporting, and disclosure requirements as monetary contributions, as outlined in these rules.
The December 2015 poll of the Montana Legislature on proposed NEW RULE V (ARM 44.11.408) ELECTRONIC CONTRIBUTIONS, REPORTING in MAR Notice No. 44-2-207 was as follows: 26 Senators voted the proposed rule is consistent with legislative intent; 20 Senators voted the proposed rule is contrary to legislative intent; 50 Representatives voted the proposed rule is consistent with legislative intent; and 35 Representatives voted the proposed rule is contrary to legislative intent.