Industry Donations Reach New Heights

The digital currency kitchen now smells like political curry, which is very different from the smell that used to be all about code. As regulatory scrutiny builds in Washington, the business is changing how it does things by using PACs and lobbying dollars like secret ingredients for the upcoming US elections.

What is the goal? Add spice to the story and rules about digital assets so that doubt doesn’t drown out their taste.

2024 US Elections: Seasoned Players, Pro-Crypto Palate

The super PAC – which means they can spend and raise as much money as they want to support their chosen candidates – says that so far this year, crypto-friendly venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, 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 given close to $80 million to Fairshake.

The PACs’ huge amounts of money to back likely pro-crypto candidates running for seats in both the House and the Senate show that the cryptocurrency industry is still trying to affect elections, even though it has been facing some problems lately.

Feasting On Influence

There is a lot of political spending going on in the crypto world right now. This year, Coinbase is going to spend a cool $4 million on marketing, while Circle has already spent $760,000 since 2021.

Why the sudden spending spree? After seeing how much trouble Binance and FTX are having, it’s no secret that regulators are paying more attention. It’s like a high-stakes game, and these crypto players aren’t just showing off their tech skills; they’re also opening their wallets to learn how to deal with the constantly changing rules.

As of today, the market cap of cryptocurrencies stood at $1.612 Trillion. Chart:

As a result of his arrest and later conviction on seven criminal counts, former crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried was one of the biggest donors in the business. Bankman-Fried gave more than $36 million to campaigns and PACs during the midterm elections of 2022. Prosecutors say that some of that money came from his customers.

It’s not clear who the committees will support in next year’s US elections, but records from the Federal Election Commission show that the Fairshake super PAC has already spent more than $1 million on TV ads to support a small group of lawmakers. Some of these lawmakers have a history of supporting the crypto business.

Some of that money went to help House Financial Services Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., who has been a supporter of crypto and just recently said he won’t be running for reelection.

Skeptical Skewers In Coming US Elections

But not everyone likes the spicy mix that is the crypto business. Advocate for stricter rules, US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a strong opponent, sees digital assets as threats to national security and hubs for criminal activity. Others agree with her criticism, which could lead to a regulatory scorch for the business.

New scandals, like FTX’s demise, have hurt the industry’s image even more, making traditional financial institutions and regulators even less trusting. Senator Roger Marshall, for example, agrees with Warren that tighter measures are needed to stop people from laundering money and wants the same rules to be applied as to traditional banks.

Since the 2024 US elections are coming up, things are getting more heated in politics. Orlando Cosme, founder of OC Advisory, says that a Democratic win could mean bad regulations. This is why the industry is working hard to find crypto-friendly candidates who will like their spicy offerings.

Meanwhile, there has been a noticeable shift in American voters’ interests, according to a recent survey conducted on their behalf by Grayscale Investments. According to a Harris Poll study, 73% of participants think that prospective US presidents should be knowledgeable about cutting-edge technology like cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence.

As the curtain falls on the 2024 US elections, the crypto industry leaves an indelible mark on the political landscape, with generosity reaching unprecedented heights. The symbiotic relationship between technology and politics has never been more evident as crypto entities step forward, contributing substantially to political campaigns and causes.

Featured image from Shutterstock

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