Crypto PACs go into 2024 with $78 million

Crypto PACs go into 2024 with $78 million

Three allied political action committees funded by leaders of the cryptocurrency industry will be starting 2024 with a combined $78 million as they aim to be key influencers during the pivotal election cycle, the groups announced Monday.

The massive amount of cash that the PACs are prepared to use in support of likely pro-crypto candidates running for seats in both the House and Senate shows how the cryptocurrency industry is still trying to influence elections despite some recent headwinds. All three committees are known as super PACs, which means they can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money in support of their preferred candidates.

The industry lost one of its top givers, former crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried, after he was arrested and later convicted of seven criminal counts. Bankman-Fried ended up donating more than $36 million to campaigns and PACs during the 2022 midterm election cycle, with prosecutors alleging some of that money was from his customers.

The three super PACs — Fairshake, Protect Progress and Defend American Jobs — will have a combined $78 million in their campaign war chests starting next year after recently raising as much, according to the network’s release.

Since officially launching earlier this year, Fairshake has seen donations from more than 20 wealthy and influential players in the crypto space, according to the group.

Andreessen Horowitz, a crypto-friendly venture capital firm; crypto exchange platform Coinbase; veteran venture capitalist Ron Conway; venture capital executive Fred Wilson; tech executives Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss; and Ripple, a crypto solutions business, have all donated to Fairshake so far this year, according to the super PAC.

Ben Horowitz, the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, recently announced the firm plans to “support like-minded candidates and oppose candidates who aim to kill America’s advanced technological future” through their political donations. Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, recently said at a conference that he had donated $1 million to Fairshake.

Though it’s unclear who the committees plan to back next year, Federal Election Commission records show the Fairshake super PAC has already spent more than $1 million in television advertisement backing a select group of lawmakers, with some having a history of supporting the crypto industry.

Some of that spending has gone in support of House Financial Services Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., who has been a crypto ally and recently announced he will not seek reelection.

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