NY Times: Bitcoin Lobbyists Pour Millions into 2024 Congressional Races

Bitcoin advocates are investing heavily in the 2024 elections, with top firms backing pro-Bitcoin candidates and seeking to influence key Senate races.
NY Times: Bitcoin Lobbyists Pour Millions into 2024 Congressional Races
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Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin lobbyists are spending $150 million to influence the 2024 congressional races.
  • Bitcoin PACs will not engage in the presidential election but are supporting Trump.
  • Critics warn of Bitcoin's significant political spending and potential impact.

Ryan Selkis, CEO of the Bitcoin data firm Messari, received an unexpected invitation last month at a Mar-a-Lago dinner: former President Donald J. Trump asked him to speak.

Selkis emphasized the potential impact of Bitcoin supporters on the upcoming elections, stating:

There’s 50 million Bitcoin holders in the U.S. That’s a lot of voters.

Three major Bitcoin firms are financing super PACs with approximately $150 million to support pro-Bitcoin congressional candidates. Although these PACs will not engage in the presidential election, Bitcoin executives are mobilizing support for Trump, who has praised digital currencies and hosted industry leaders.

Bitcoin advocates see the 2024 election as critical. The Biden administration’s crackdown, including lawsuits and criminal charges, has created tension. Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, highlighted the significance:

The 2024 elections will be the most consequential in Bitcoin’s history.

52 million users

Despite skepticism about the number of Bitcoin owners—52 million according to a Coinbase survey versus the Federal Reserve’s estimate of 18 million—Bitcoin firms are focusing on their substantial campaign funds.

Ripple, Coinbase, and Andreessen Horowitz have each contributed around $50 million to Bitcoin PACs.

In March, the largest PAC, Fairshake, spent $10 million on ads against Democratic Senate candidate Katie Porter, leading to her defeat.

Critics argue that Bitcoin’s political spending is unprecedented. D

ennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, noted,

A single relatively small industry is literally trying to buy enough politicians to hijack the public agenda.

Bitcoin has become a topic in the presidential campaign as well. Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has engaged with the Bitcoin community, and the Biden campaign has shown interest in Bitcoin policy discussions. Nonetheless, the industry appears to be rallying around Trump, who has recently expressed strong support for Bitcoin.

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