Crypto Fundraising Startup Sets Sights on Midterm Election Donations

Engage Raise, Engage Lab’s donation platform that launched in July 2022, currently works with 16 congressional candidates to facilitate cryptocurrency contributions

article-image

Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel

share

key takeaways

  • The crypto community cares about politics now more than ever
  • Donating in fiat does nothing to help advance the crypto agenda, crypto fundraising startup co-founder said

Political software company Engage Labs is banking on people putting their crypto where their votes are, and they are helping candidates make it possible.

Digital fundraising is an essential part of electioneering, Engage CEO Martin Dobelle told Blockworks — so supplying the picks and shovels for candidates to accept crypto donations is a logical next step. 

“Politics is more important than ever for the blockchain space and for the future of blockchain innovation,” Dobelle said. “There obviously has been an increase in political contributions from the space, but most of it has not been in the form of crypto, and — from talking with voters — we know people would have loved to do it.” 

Engage Raise, the firm’s donation platform that launched in July 2022, is now working with 16 US congressional candidates to facilitate cryptocurrency contributions directly to candidates. The platform is helpful for candidates and, especially, their compliance and finance teams that might not be as experienced with digital assets, Dobelle said. 

“We had a pretty easy time signing up a slate of candidates,” Dobelle said. “We’re a nonpartisan company; we’re a public benefit company; and we care about civic engagement in the digital age. We think for that to really be credible, it can’t be partisan.” 

The team declined to comment on how many donations candidates have received through the platform, but said the average has been about $1,000 per donor. The most popular token for donations has been the stablecoin USDC, followed by Ethereum’s native ether (ETH). 

It’s no surprise crypto-conscious voters are taking a more active role in campaign financing, according to Jeffrey Howard, the head of North American business development and institutional sales at digital asset and software-as-a-service provider OSL.

“This election is the most consequential election for crypto,” Howard said. “Prior to [the last session of congress], crypto just wasn’t an issue…regulators weren’t paying attention to it, therefore, politicians weren’t paying attention to it.” 

The landscape has changed, though, Howard added. 

Dobelle, for his part, said that in order to persuade policymakers that cryptoassets are a “legitimate financial tool for the future” it “doesn’t help your case” to make a donation via a check or another form of fiat. 

“That’s why we’re seeing increasing demand on the part of people in the community to send money in crypto,” he said.


Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

HYATT REGENCY SALT LAKE CITY

TUES, OCT. 8, 2024

Guided by the expertise of Blockworks Research Analysts team, this one day event will feature senior leaders, entrepreneurs, and developers from across the crypto industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an immersive experience to explore the latest trends, […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report cover graphics (1).jpg

Research

Wormhole is a suite of open-source, permissionless protocols used to move assets and queries across blockchains.  Despite being a common misconception, Wormhole is not just a token bridge. Nevertheless, protocols can build token bridges on top of Wormhole by leveraging the cross-chain messaging provided.

article-image

Ether is a commodity just up until the point it is not, or, ether is not a commodity just up until the point it is — whichever you prefer

article-image

The bull-market conference was filled with good feelings but little clarity on where the crypto industry is headed next

article-image

The Friday ruling was issued as a default judgment because Sameer Ramani “appears to have fled the country”

article-image

Bitcoin’s previous record high against the Euro was set in September 2021

article-image

As bitcoin ETFs grow larger and more liquid, due diligence teams at wirehouses and other investment firms are more likely to clear them, Bitwise researcher says

article-image

Sponsored

The TRON DAO team attended ETH Denver, one of the leading events in the blockchain space