Crypto firms in the United States are ramping up their political spending as they approach a crucial House floor vote on legislation that aims to legitimize digital assets and establish regulations. Despite facing recent PR issues, such as the fraud conviction of Bankman-Fried and concerns about crypto’s use in terror financing, the industry is hopeful about the potential impact of this legislation.
Fairshake, an advocacy group, has shown support for 13 incumbent lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum. These candidates all serve on the House Financial Services and Agriculture committees, which played a role in advancing crypto-friendly legislation earlier this year.
Notably, Fairshake’s spending has benefited House Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.). McHenry and Johnson have been leading efforts on the House crypto bills, while Gottheimer has shown support.
In the past, the crypto industry’s political spending has generated controversy. Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX digital asset exchange, faced accusations of making illegal campaign contributions during the 2022 midterms. Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives were generous donors prior to the company’s bankruptcy last November.
Fairshake’s ads do not explicitly focus on crypto regulation but instead emphasize economic issues and present candidates as bipartisan problem solvers. Many ads highlight the candidates’ work in attracting future job opportunities and building the next generation of the internet in the United States, indirectly referencing crypto.
Moving forward, Fairshake is expected to support more pro-crypto candidates, potentially extending its reach to Senate races, according to an undisclosed source with direct knowledge of the matter.
While Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has publicly pledged financial support, the total amount of Fairshake’s fundraising remains unclear due to delayed super PAC disclosures. Representative Johnson recently stated that he was unaware of the funders behind the Fairshake ads endorsing him, as reported by South Dakota News Watch.