Coinbase, along with crypto giants Kraken, Ripple, and Andreessen Horowitz, announced on Monday that they have collectively raised and donated $78 million to support “pro-innovation” political candidates in the upcoming 2024 elections. In a blog post, Coinbase emphasized the crucial role of elected officials and policies in shaping the future of cryptocurrency in the U.S., particularly in balancing the power of appointed regulators who adopt a regulation-by-enforcement approach. The donations were facilitated through a crypto-focused political action committee called Fairshake, registered with the Federal Election Commission.
Fairshake, as an independent entity, allocates its resources to support candidates, with a significant portion previously directed to House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. The PAC has also contributed funds to Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., and Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn. The increased prominence of crypto lobbying is evident in the substantial rise in federal lobbying spending from the industry, more than doubling in 2022 compared to the previous year, with Coinbase and Binance emerging as top spenders.
As the crypto industry gears up for a challenging legislative landscape in 2024, Coinbase and its counterparts are positioning themselves to influence regulations, particularly those related to stablecoins and comprehensive sector oversight. Efforts have intensified in response to a tumultuous year, marked by events such as the criminal trial of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and the downfall of former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao. Coinbase, in addition to its broader advocacy efforts, is making strategic moves in Ohio, engaging with voters in preparation for the reelection bid of Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who has expressed concerns about crypto-related issues, including potential links to terrorism funding.