Stand with Crypto sets up PAC for US election lobbying
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Coinbase’s Stand with Crypto advocacy group has set up a Political Action Committee (PAC) to represent cryptocurrency sector interests ahead of this year’s US presidential election.

PACs are a defining feature of the US political system. The Committee’s function as a means for members to pool campaign funds for candidates which serve the PAC’s political interests, such as a particular economic sector – like crypto and blockchain.

Following media reports the organisation confirmed in a tweet that it had established a PAC to “directly engage with candidates who support the crypto community”. It has also established two new political-oriented features on its website.

The first of these is a page detailing cryptocurrency endorsements from US House of Representatives and Senate members. The second is a state-by-state dashboard for the 2024 elections, detailing the key races across different constituencies which could have significance for cryptocurrency.

In an article retweeted by the organisation, Nick Carr, Stand with Crypto’s Chief Strategist, told Reuters: “The goal is to endorse candidates and support candidates that are protecting the rights of our advocates of Stand With Crypto throughout November.”

In its own words, Stand by Crypto now has close to 500,000 members, whilst Reuters has put the number at 440,000. The group’s PAC is not the only lobbying organisation with cards on the table this election, as Fairshake, Defend American Jobs and Protect Progress are also voicing support for crypto.

The two main candidates for the US presidential election have not been fully confirmed, but it is widely expected that incumbent Joe Biden of the Democratic Party will choose to try again for a second four-year term.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is widely anticipated to be the Republican Party nominee. Stand by Crypto describes Biden as being strongly against crypto whilst describing Trump as being supportive.

It could then be expected that the organisation will lobby more favourably for Trump, should the former President – ousted in favour of Biden in 2020 – stand again this year. It is hard to deny that Biden has had a more conformational approach to crypto over recent years.

The Biden administration has been active in seeking to close perceived crypto tax loopholes and has also criticised the use of digital assets for criminal activity and funnelling of proceeds.

This is not to say that Trump is an unrelenting supporter of cryptocurrencies and digital assets either, however. The outspoken politician and businessman has been extremely critical of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

It is important to note that Stand with Crypto’s PAC formation comes at a time of heightened debate and public, political and legal interest in the crypto sector. Although Bitcoin is currently riding a wave following the SEC’s approval of a Spot ETF earlier this year, the sector has also experienced a number of scandals.

Most notable was the November 2022 collapse of FTX and the subsequent arrest, trial and sentencing of Sam Barkman-Fried. An AML investigation of leading crypto exchange Binance last year continues to stir distrust in crypto. 

One of Stand with Crypto’s objectives ahead of the election this year will be to restore and/or build up public confidence in the US crypto and blockchain industry, and the legitimacy of it.