Jan 31, 2024 - Business

Crypto heads toward 2024 election with $85 million war chest

Illustration of a digital coin combined with a VOTE pin.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Crypto's election war chest keeps getting bigger, with more than $85 million raised to date for 2024 from crypto firms, executives and investors.

Why it matters: The industry is making a play for legitimacy, with billions of dollars flowing into newly approved bitcoin ETFs and now — millions into political action committees.

By the numbers: Super PAC Fairshake and affiliates Protect Progress and Defend American Jobs have raised $6 million since the start of the year, on top of the $78 million publicly confirmed as of Dec. 31.

  • The U.S.'s largest centralized crypto exchange, Coinbase, chipped in a third of the total, or $24.5 million, confirmed Josh Vlasto, a Fairshake spokesperson.
  • Other major donors include venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and Ripple, which have each given at least $20 million.
  • Electric Capital, a new contributor, gave $500,000 this year.

What they're saying: "Crypto is here to stay, and Fairshake is leading the effort to ensure the voices of 52 million Americans invested in crypto are heard," Vlasto said in a statement to Axios.

Context: The crypto-focused super PAC has already spent over a million dollars on TV ads for those pro crypto. Beneficiaries include House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.).

Meanwhile, the grassroots initiative Coinbase helped start is budding.

  • "There's a lot of work being done in organizing the 275,000 advocates who have signed up in key congressional districts and states around the country," Faryar Shirzad, chief policy officer at the exchange, tells Axios about Stand With Crypto.

Other known contributors to Fairshake include Cathie Wood's ARK Invest, Jump Crypto, Framework Ventures, Kraken, Messari, Multicoin Capital and Paradigm.

  • Coinbase's Brian Armstrong personally contributed $1 million to Fairshake last year, while Bitwise Asset Management's Hunter Horsley and Gemini co-founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were also contributors.
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