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Crypto Super PACs Raise $100 Million War Chest for 2024 Congressional Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cryptocurrency industry super PACs have raised a $102 million war chest to spend on the 2024 congressional elections, according to data from Opensecrets.org compiled by Public Citizen in a new report. Only two other super PACs have raised more money so far this cycle.

“During the 2022 midterm elections, then-FTX CEO and now-convicted felon Sam Bankman-Fried personified the cryptocurrency sector’s attempt to use campaign spending to maximize its political influence,” said Rick Claypool, a research director for Public Citizen and author of the report. “Now a fresh crop of crypto corporations, execs, and their allies are back in the political fray, spending millions to tilt elections toward pro-crypto candidates and against attempts to hold the industry accountable and ensure it follows the law.”

According to the report, more than half of the money comes from direct corporate expenditures, primarily Coinbase and Ripple Labs, illustrating how the crypto sector is taking full advantage of unlimited corporate political spending unleashed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The rest comes from billionaire crypto execs and venture capitalists, including $11 million from each of the founders of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, $5 million from the Winklevoss twins, and $1 million from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.

Four of the eight corporate crypto super PAC donors have either settled or are facing charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for alleged violations of securities laws.

Beating back regulations is among the stated goals of the top funders. But that has not stopped the crypto sector’s largest super PAC, Fairshake Political Action Committee, from running political ads that make no mention of cryptocurrencies – a cynical sleight-of-hand intended to manipulate voters.

“Just as Big Oil tries to thwart climate regulations and insurance companies try to thwart health care reforms, the crypto sector’s political spending is intended to stop enforcement crackdowns, block regulation that prevents fraud, and defeat candidates who support either,” Claypool added.

Out of the six 2024 primaries in which crypto super PACs intervened and which are now over, only one crypto-backed candidate has lost. Eleven primary races that include crypto-backed candidates remain. The crypto super PACs have pledged to spend in general election Senate races in the battleground states of Ohio and Montana.

The narrow majorities in both chambers of Congress mean the crypto sector’s outsized influence in a small number of House and Senate races has the potential to tip control of Congress toward one party or the other.