Coinbase, a16z, Ripple pour millions into Fairshake crypto lobbying group

As U.S. elections gear up, crypto businesses funnel funds into a political action committee, backing crypto-friendly candidates.

Crypto exchange Coinbase, venture firms Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Electric Capital, as well as fintech company Ripple, have collectively contributed tens of millions of dollars to the Fairshake political action committee (PAC) in a bid to exert influence on U.S. policymakers and support crypto-friendly candidates, Bloomberg reports.

According to statements from Josh Vlasto, a spokesperson for the PAC, Coinbase’s chief executive officer, Brian Armstrong, has personally donated $1 million to Fairshake, while Coinbase as a company has injected an additional $24.5 million into the lobbying group. Bloomberg’s report indicates that Armstrong and Coinbase together account for approximately one-third of the total $85 million raised by the PAC thus far.

But the U.S.-based crypto exchange is not alone in its efforts to support crypto-loyal candidates. Fintech firm Ripple — best known for its token XRP — has also committed $20 million to the Fairshake PAC, as stated by Vlasto.

“Supporting candidates, from both parties, who take a long-term view of technology is an important part of ensuring that clear rules of the road are developed for blockchain technology and digital assets.”

Collin McCune, head of government affairs at a16z

Beyond crypto companies, venture capital firms have also funded what they call a “war chest,” the report notes. For example, the Menlo Park-headquartered venture capital (VC) giant a16z also poured 20 million, while the other VC firm, Electric Capital, donated $500,000.

The crypto market needs regulatory clarity and has been actively working to shape policies in its favor for a few years now. Despite the initiatives undertaken by U.S. lawmakers in crafting crypto legislation, the absence of specific laws tailored to the industry persists.

As crypto.news reported in December 2023, crypto firms intensified their lobbying efforts in 2023, collectively spending nearly $19 million over the first three quarters of 2023, marking a 15.2% increase compared to the corresponding period in 2022. Last year, Coinbase led the pack in lobbying expenditures, allocating $2.16 million, followed by Foris DAX (operator of Crypto.com), Blockchain Association, and Binance Holdings.

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2024-02-01 10:31