Crypto giants flex political muscle to reduce regulatory oversight

The crypto industry has emerged as a major force in US election campaign financing, raising a whopping $160 million to support candidates who favor light-hearted regulation.

according to a June 14 Bloomberg reportWith a majority in the Senate potentially dependent on the reelection of crypto skeptics like Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jon Tester (D-MT), the industry is set to play a key role in the 2024 elections.

FairShake, the industry’s political action committee, has nearly doubled its funding in recent weeks thanks to donations of $25 million each from . Ripple LabsAndreessen Horowitz and Coinbase. The Winklevoss twins, co-founders of the Gemini exchange, also Contributed $4.9 million,

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, whose net worth has risen to $10.8 billion, is urging voters to oust lawmakers who do not support digital assets. Earlier this week, Armstrong also went to capitol hill to meet with senators from both parties.

The importance of lobbying for crypto

Faryar Shirzad, the chief policy officer at Coinbase, also highlighted the importance of political involvement for the crypto space. He said:

What we’ve learned as an industry is that you have to get political to get your point across. […] However, we are very committed to seeing this through. We are very committed to this cycle and beyond. This is just the beginning of a long journey.

The main goal of the crypto giants is to reduce the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission, as the regulator has sued major players and imposed heavy fines for alleged securities law violations. They prefer the CFTC as their regulator.

The industry flexed its political muscle in California’s March Senate primary, spending $10 million on negative ads to defeat progressive Rep. Katie Porter.

The high-profile influence campaign marks a marked shift from the scandals and failures that rocked crypto in 2022, including The Explosion of FTX. Its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in prison for crimes relating to FTX’s management. The crypto market has since rebounded, bolstered by US approval of spot bitcoin ETFs.