Home Crypto giants flex political muscle to reduce regulatory oversight

Crypto giants flex political muscle to reduce regulatory oversight


  • The crypto industry has raised $160M to support candidates favoring light-touch regulation in US elections.
  • Fairshake PAC doubled funding with donations from Ripple Labs, Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase, and the Winklevoss twins.
  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong urges voters to support pro-crypto lawmakers and favors CFTC over SEC oversight.

The crypto industry has emerged as a major force in US campaign finance, amassing a staggering $160 million war chest to support candidates favoring light-touch regulation.

According to a June 14 Bloomberg report, with the Senate majority potentially hinging on the reelection of crypto skeptics like Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jon Tester (D-MT), the industry is poised to play a pivotal role in the 2024 elections.

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

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, whose net worth has soared to $10.8 billion, is urging voters to oust lawmakers who don’t 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

Coinbase’s chief policy officer Faryar Shirzad also highlighted the importance of political participation for the crypto space. He said:

We’ve learned as an industry that you have to show up politically to be heard. […] We’re very, very committed to see that though. We’re very committed to this cycle and beyond. This is only the beginning of a long road.

The crypto giants’ main goal is to reduce the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission, as the regulator has sued major players and imposed hefty 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 help defeat progressive Rep. Katie Porter.

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

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Radek Zielinski
Tech Journalist

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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