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Crypto group with 440,000 members launches PAC to target House, Senate elections

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Representations of cryptocurrencies are seen in this illustration, August 10, 2022. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)
By Stephanie Kelly | REUTERS

A cryptocurrency nonprofit has launched a new political action committee (PAC) to raise money from its 440,000 members for crypto-friendly politicians, and is endorsing a bipartisan slate of candidates running in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Stand With Crypto’s PAC joins a deep-pocketed effort from the cryptocurrency industry to put political candidates in office who are committed to supporting crypto and blockchain.

Crypto super PACs Fairshake, Defend American Jobs and Protect Progress have so far raised more than $110 million this election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission records.

The involvement in this year’s elections comes as the industry faces some scrutiny after FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty last year of stealing from customers. Prosecutors allege he used those funds to donate more than $100 million to U.S. political campaigns.

PACs like Stand With Crypto are typically set up to gather funds for candidates or political causes; they differ from super PACs, which can receive donations of unlimited size but cannot coordinate with campaigns directly.

Endorsements include Jim Banks, a Republican running for Senate in Indiana; Jim Justice, a Republican running for Senate in West Virginia; Shomari Figures, a Democrat running to represent Alabama’s Second District; Eddy Morales, a Democrat running to represent Oregon’s Third District; and Troy Downing, a Republican running to represent Montana’s Second District.

“The goal is to endorse candidates and support candidates that are protecting the rights of our advocates of Stand With Crypto throughout November,” Nick Carr, chief strategist at Stand With Crypto, told Reuters.

The cryptocurrency industry says it is already playing a role this election cycle.

Crypto super PAC Defend American Jobs claimed victory after four endorsed candidates won in their Indiana primaries on Tuesday, including Banks and Mark Messmer, a Republican running to represent the state’s Eighth District.

Editor’s Note: Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Heather Timmons and Jamie Freed

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