Latest crypto super PACs draw $78M influx of cash for friendly politicians 

Crypto’s new major political donors include those recently targeted by the SEC: Coinbase, Ripple and Kraken

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Crypto executives and companies seeking more influence in Washington are paying up. A trio of crypto-focused super PACs has raised $78 million so far to support digital asset-friendly candidates, the group said Monday. 

The trio, Fairshake and affiliated super PACs Protect Progress and Defend American Jobs, intends to “support leaders who support American crypto and blockchain innovation and responsible regulation in the forthcoming 2024 elections,” a spokesperson said Monday. 

Fairshake has already received support from Coinbase and its CEO Brian Armstrong, Gemini co-founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and crypto companies including Kraken, Ripple and Circle. 

The news comes months after Coinbase launched its ‘Stand with Crypto Alliance,’ a nonprofit the exchange said seeks to advance crypto-friendly policy around the world.

“[The Alliance] completely embodies exactly what the crypto industry is all about,” Kara Calvert, Coinbase’s head of US policy, said in August. “It’s all about decentralized efforts, decentralized power, decentralized access, and that’s I think really what this Stand With Crypto movement is about.” 

Read more: Disappointed but not surprised: Industry reacts to SEC’s Coinbase denial

Armstrong said in September he would personally pledge $1 million to crypto-focused campaigns through his support of Fairshake. 

“The US cannot afford to continue taking a back seat on the global stage,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse wrote on X Monday. “Regulatory overreach ([especially] from the SEC) is actively moving the US in the wrong direction, and other countries are taking full advantage of the lack of US leadership.” 

Super PACs, which can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and other political committees, are raking in more money than ever this election cycle. Midway through 2023, Super PACs had already clocked more than $14 million in independent expenditures for the primaries, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) data. 

Read more: Gensler says SEC is taking ‘new look’ at spot bitcoin ETF proposals

PACs and parties have not yet had to file their campaign finance disclosures with the FEC, so the full donor profiles for the groups are not yet public. Contributions made between July and the end of 2023 are due by the end of January 2024. 

Other contributors to Fairshake include: Ark, Andreessen Horowitz, Blockchain Capital, Wences Casares, Ron Conway, Cumberland, Framework Ventures, Hunter Horsley, Jump Crypto, Lightspark, Messari, Multicoin Capital, Paradigm, Potter Ventures and Fred Wilson. 


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