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Stand With Crypto PAC Launches: Who It is Backing and Why

Published 3 days ago
Teuta Franjkovic
Published 3 days ago
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Coinbase’s Stand With Crypto has launched a new PAC to support pro-crypto candidates in the United States.
  • Stand With Crypto is backing five candidates from the two major parties with pro-crypto policies.
  • It has already received $1 Million from Moonpay.
  • Crypto PACs raised over $110 Million despite FTX scrutiny.

A new cryptocurrency-focused Political Action Committee (PAC) has formed .

Stand With Crypto has not yet submitted any disclosure filings. It has, however, indicated plans to support two Democratic and three Republican candidates in upcoming Congressional races.

Stand With Crypto Launches PAC to Support Pro-Crypto Candidates

The Coinbase-initiated nonprofit Stand With Crypto announced  that it is launching a new Political Action Committee (PAC). This will allow individual members of Stand With Crypto to contribute up to $5,000 each to help support  “candidates who support the crypto community.

Stand With Crypto was founded last summer  as part of an effort to provide crypto enthusiasts with greater access to information about policymakers and candidates, according to the organization’s leaders.

Kara Calvert, Coinbase’s head of US policy, described  the initiative as a grassroots, organic bottom-up effort.

She said :

“It can provide a lot of tools to people, they can learn about the members of Congress, they can access a scorecard, they can access a legislative action portal…it will really give them the tools that they need to engage with their members of Congress.”

What Makes Stand With Crypto Different?

Stand With Crypto, distinguishes itself  from other major crypto campaign-finance initiatives. These have typically been led by a few large digital assets businesses donating $10 million or more to groups like Fairshake and associated PACs. These groups provide unlimited, indirect support to candidates, operating independently of the candidates’ campaigns.

In contrast, Stand With Crypto’s PAC, will make direct contributions  to candidates. Contributions will be subject to the usual limits of direct donations. Unlike contributions to the organization itself, donations to the PAC require donors to disclose their identities publicly.

Stand With Crypto Announces First Endorsements

During the March Congressional primary cycle, PACs made a significant financial effort, spending over $10.1 million on advertisements opposing Congresswoman Katie Porter, the incumbent Democrat from California who eventually lost her bid for the late Senator Dianne Feinstein’s seat.

The same trio of PACs is supporting  Shomari Figures, an Alabama Democrat competing for a US House seat in November. Protect Progress contributed nearly $2 million to his primary campaign in March and April, according to filings.

Meanwhile, Stand With Crypto has not yet submitted contribution and disbursement forms to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). However, it has disclosed its first five endorsements , which include:

Shomari Figures, a Democrat, first time candidate, Alabama

Shomari Figures, a candidate with a strong progressive background, may not have led in direct fundraising for a US House seat in Alabama. However, he stood out as a crypto-friendly choice , dominating the Democratic primary and securing 61% of the vote in the runoff.

Figures says  he wants to embrace “the evolving digital asset landscape, including cryptocurrencies, to foster innovation and technological progress”.

Jim Banks, a Republican running for the Senate in Indiana

 As a House Representative, Jim Banks of Indiana has been actively involved in shaping crypto regulation . For instance, he co-sponsored the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act.

This proposed legislation aims to clarify regulations but sorting out what the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are responsible for.

Jim Justice, a Republican running for the Senate in West Virginia

As Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice played a role in passing legislation  aimed at regulating cryptocurrency in the context of money laundering.

Recently, when questioned about his views on the technology, Justice expressed concerns typical  of Republican perspectives. He criticzed government overreach and the concept of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). He emphasized the potential benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrencies , stating:

“America has a tremendous opportunity with the innovation and technology around blockchain, and cryptocurrencies. As elected leaders, we must ensure a digital market structure that protects Americans from bad actors but allows these innovators to flourish and create new and exciting technology and opportunities.”

Eddy Morales, a Democrat House candidate in Oregon’s Third House District

Eddy Morales  wants a modern regulatory framework that would help digital assets. He told Stand With Crypto:

“Blockchain, and other technologies are still emerging and allow people to build wealth, own their own data, and have a seat at the table in the economy of the future. Their full potential is still unknown.

“In Congress, I will focus on creating a regulatory framework that provides clarity to these industries that allows more Americans to have access to these technologies, and encourages innovation and equitable growth while protecting consumers and workers.”

Troy Downing, a Republican candidate in Montana’s Second District

Troy Downing , Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, recently took  a strong stance on crypto compliance when he announced $3 million settlement with TradeStation over an unregistered crypto interest earning program. However, he has also calld for regulatory clarity.

He told Stand With Crypto:

“As a Regulator, I am frustrated with Gary Gensler and the SEC in the ambiguities around crypto as a commodity or a security. We need a good framework to clarify while not stifling innovation.”

Why Does Stand With Crypto Back Certain Politicians?

Stand With Crypto’s PAC is committed to supporting candidates who take a proactive stance on cryptocurrency.

The PAC wants Congress to support new technology and create regulations that will help the digital economy grow.

Nick Carr, Chief Strategist for Stand With Crypto said: 

“The goal is to endorse candidates and support candidates that are protecting the rights of our advocates of Stand With Crypto throughout November.”

Moonpay Gives $1 Million to Crypto Nonprofit Amidst Active PAC Season

Federal law can make contributing to PACs complicated. However, companies and individuals can still freely donate to a nonprofit itself. For instance, on May 13, cryptocurrency payments company Moonpay pledged $1 million .

Ivan Soto-Wright, CEO of Moonpay, emphasized the significance  of this year’s election for the future of the cryptocurrency industry in the United States and the company’s commitment to supporting organizations that promote positive advancements in crypto innovation.

However, the latest contribution is not the first instance of MoonPay’s involvement in US politics.

Last year, Soto-Wright donated  $500,000 donation to Bitcoin-supporting Miami Mayor Frances Suarez. This donation was made through an LLC owned and controlled by Soto-Wright, leading to a Federal Election Commission complaint.

Critics have suggested that this mayoral donation might have breached straw donor laws. This because the funds came directly from Soto-Wright rather than the revenues of his LLC. Soto-Wright has denied any misconduct related to the donation.

Crypto PACs Raise $110 Million Amid Scrutiny, Celebrate Primary Wins in Indiana

The launch of Stand With Crypto’s PAC coincides with continued activity from three other crypto-focused Super PACs , Defend American Jobs, Fairshake, and Protect Progress. These groups have collectively spent $31,752,033.81 so far this year. They have also raised more than $110 million in this election cycle.

This surge in political funding coincides with increased scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry, following the conviction of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried for embezzling customer funds to donate over $100 million to US political campaigns.

In a recent success, Defend American Jobs celebrated victories for four of their endorsed candidates in Indiana’s primaries, including Republicans Jim Banks and Mark Messmer for the state’s Eighth District.

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