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Coinbase Joins Ripple and Cardano CEOs to Help John Deaton Outfundraise Elizabeth Warren

Last Updated April 15, 2024 11:32 AM
James Morales
Last Updated April 15, 2024 11:32 AM
By James Morales
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Massachussetts Senate hopeful John Deaton has raised more than $1.26 million to fund his campaign.
  • Deaton’s fundraising efforts put him ahead of the incumbent Senator Elizabeth Warren, who he hopes to unseat.
  • In 2024, the crypto lobby is an increasingly powerful force, plowing millions of dollars into electoral races across the country.

Since launching his Senate campaign in February, John Deaton has raised over $1.26 million. Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Senator he hopes to oust, Elizabeth Warren, has pulled in just $1.09 million in the same period.

So who’s bank-rolling Deaton’s campaign? Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings  reveal that many of the Republican candidate’s donors come from the crypto space, which has a history of antagonism with the incumbent Warren.

Who is Backing Deaton Senate Campaign Against Warren?

As a political outsider, Deaton put up $1 million of his own money in the form of a loan to help get the campaign off the ground. Meanwhile, the Republican fundraising platform WinRed has provided around $40,000 so far, making it Deaton’s second-largest source of campaign finance.

Looking at individual donations, Coinbase stands out as the only public company that has donated to the race. However, some well-known crypto business leaders have made notable contributions too.

Gemini co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have given Deaton $6,600 each – the maximum allowed for individual donations. 

Other donors include Cardano boss Charles Hoskinson, Kraken Chairman Jesse Powell, and Anthony Scaramucci, President Trump’s former communications director and founder of the crypto hedge fund SkyBridge Capital.

Finally, the CEO and CLO of Ripple Labs, Brad Garlinghouse and Stuart Alderoty have also given Deaton their financial backing.

Crypto Sector Gets Serious About Politics

Whether or not his campaign goes anywhere, the presence of so many prominent figures from the crypto sector on Deaton’s donor list signals a wider trend.

In 2024, groups like the Coinbase-backed Stand With Crypto are capable of raising millions of dollars to back pro-crypto candidates. Far from a fringe movement, the campaign represents an increasingly organized and well-financed lobbying force.

While Stand With Crypto and its associated Super PAC, Fairshake, have spent more money on Republican candidates, it acknowledges that support for the crypto sector needn’t be a partisan issue. 

Lobbying Both Sides

Senator Warren has made plenty of enemies in the space with her combative stance on digital assets. But the Republican party isn’t without its own crypto hawks. Likewise, there are a number of Democratic lawmakers who stand firmly in the pro-crypto camp.

To lobby successfully, the crypto sector must court both sides. 

Deaton has made headlines because he is a well-known figure in the space, but unseating Warren is just one potential path to change – and an unlikely one at that.

Remember, Deaton remains a long-shot candidate. A political outsider in a packed Republican primary field, even if he secures the party’s nomination, Deaton’s chances of victory are slim in a deep blue state where Senator Warren won the last election with over 60% of the vote.

But there are other races where the crypto lobby stands a better chance of influencing the outcome.

Super PAC Spends $10 Million on California Senate Race

Flush with more than $20 million each from Coinbase and Andreessen Horowitz, alongside six-figure donations from the Winklevoss twins and other wealthy individual donors, Fairshake  is a far larger, more sophisticated political machine than John Deaton’s grassroots fundraising campaign.

So far, the super PAC has directed the most funds to the California Senate race, where it has spent over $10 million opposing Democratic hopeful Katie Porter.

With the two front runners both friendly to Silicon Valley, crypto firms are concerned about Porter’s Congressional record on issues such as Bitcoin mining.

For Fairshake, plowing money into Porter attack ads is less about putting a pro-crypto candidate in the Senate and more about preventing the next Elizabeth Warren from taking office.

Moving beyond token candidates like Deaton, this strategic channeling of funds points to a maturing crypto lobby that is well-placed to shape American politics in 2024 and beyond.

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