FTX’s CEOs are backing political action committees with millions of dollars, supporting Democrats and Republicans alike.
Wealthy members of the crypto industry including brokers, venture capitalists, and investors have contributed over $52 million in political donations during this midterm election cycle. Half of those funds arrived in May alone, with the largest crypto donor of the month targeting Republican candidates.
Crypto Reaching Into Politics
As reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday, some of the largest donors included FTX co-CEOs Ryan Salame and Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).
Salame put $8 million towards American Dream Federal Action last month, upping his total contributions to $12 million. The Super PAC, of which Salame is the only donor, spent $7.6 million targeting Republican candidates.
Some of these candidates have been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. It put $1.2 million towards likely re-elect John Boozman, and another $517,000 promoting Representative Ted Budd.
Meanwhile, another $500,000 from SBF – a young billionaire that believes his class should be taxed more – went towards the pro-Democrat Senate Majority PAC. He sent $32.5 million in donations to Super PACs across the election cycle, including $16 million in April alone. The CEO is known for spending his money on political and humanitarian causes, launching a $100 million humanitarian fund in May.
Protect Our Future, a super PAC that received $23 million from SBF, put $4.1 million towards Democratic candidates.
The crypto industry itself also boasts its own, unofficial “GMI” (gonna-make-it) PAC. The PAC received $1 million in donations from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) co-founders, Marc Andreessen and Benjamin Horowitz in May. a16z is one of the largest venture capitalist investors in the crypto and web 3 space, raising $4.5 billion to invest in the ecosystem last month.
Republican VS Democrats on Crypto
A clear political divide is starting to form around cryptocurrency, with many Republicans in support, and many Democrats opposed.
The former generally favors creating an environment for the burgeoning industry to flourish, while not sending it overseas. Meanwhile, Democrats are increasingly worried about investor harm, illicit finance, and environmental damage caused by digital assets.
However, a recent bill attempting to solidify a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency in the United States was deliberately co-signed by members spanning the political aisle. Neither co-author, including Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis and Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, wishes for the industry to become partisan.