Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.
The prominent Blockchain Association says it established its PAC to back pro-crypto candidates from both sides of the aisle.
The Blockchain Association recently launched a new political committee (PAC) to support pro-crypto political candidates. Reports state that this committee will be bipartisan in orientation and back candidates of both parties. As Executive Director Kristin Smith explained:
“We believe crypto is by definition a non-partisan issue. We will support candidates in that spirit, seeking the best champions for this technology no matter which side of the aisle they come from.”
Furthermore, she also described this new development as “a natural step for a growing industry”. According to Smith, the PAC will emulate the Blockchain Association’s point of view, in addition to raising political cash to donate to candidates.
The launch of the Blockchain Association crypto-leaning PAC comes amid intensifying crypto regulation proceedings in Washington. According to Smith:
“Crypto has arrived in D.C. and, as an industry, we plan to fortify and expand our presence as lawmakers and regulators continue their engagement on core questions of economic freedom, digital privacy, and financial inclusion.”
Furthermore, establishing the PAC signals an attempt by the Blockchain Association to exert more influence on candidates seeking office. As Smith put it, “BA PAC is a bat signal for lawmakers: crypto is here for good,” and the committee will “support candidates who share that vision.”
However, reports also suggest that the timing of BA PAC’s launch may limit its influence in November’s midterm Congress elections. This is because the committee’s date of filing with the Federal Election Commission may be too late to demonstrate political sway. Nonetheless, the PAC will be in a prime position to make a splash in the presidential election year of 2024.
The Blockchain Association Behind the New Crypto-leaning PAC
Founded in 2019, the Blockchain Association is a nonprofit trade association based in Washington DC. This trade group comprises 90 members, including several of the industry’s most prominent names. Smith describes these individuals as well-equipped to navigate the success of the Blockchain Association. Some of the group’s members include Circle, Anchorage Digital, Solana, Union Square Ventures, Ripple, and Crypto.com. However, a notable exception is Binance which withdrew from the Association back in April to form its own government-lobbying affairs team.
According to lobbying tracker Open Secret, the Blockchain Association has already spent over $900K on lobbying this year. To do so, the group engaged at least three lobbying firms for assistance. The Blockchain Association’s individual members and their immediate family reportedly made $104,500 in political contributions. Of this sum, the National Republican Congressional Committee received $8,500, while numerous legislators from either party received $5,800 each. Smith herself has donated to candidates of both the Democratic and Republican parties. In addition, FEC data reveals that the Blockchain Association Executive Director also previously donated to WinRed, a right-leaning fundraising group.
The crypto industry is fast becoming one of the most dominant forces in political funding. The emergence of its new PACs is outpacing the political efforts of other more established industries.