Billionaire crypto wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried says he’s willing to spend more than $1 billion to have his say in the 2024 US elections — depending on who runs and what they want.
The famously altruistic FTX chief told Pushkin Industries’ What’s Your Problem? podcast on Tuesday that while he’s looking to donate in excess of $100 million, he has a “soft ceiling” way above that.
“I would guess north of $100 million. As for how much more than that, I don’t know. It really does depend on what happens,” teased the boufant-haired 30-year-old.
“It’s really dependent on exactly who’s running where for what.”
When Bankman-Fried was pressed on whether he’d give a lot of money to a rival candidate if Donald Trump ran for president, he said, “that’s a pretty decent guess.”
“I’m going to be looking a lot less at political party from that perspective and a lot more about sane governance.”
Such a contribution would make Bankman-Fried the biggest donor in US political history, obliterating the previous record held by Republican Casino CEO Sheldon Adelson who parted with $218 million two years ago.
And if political analysts and press speculation are to be believed, Bankman-Fried may well be nudging the top end of his mooted budget.
Politico reports that Donald Trump is indeed likely to once again rear his orange head when election time rolls around. Trump is currently endorsing candidates across the country, likely as a way to gauge support for a potential comeback. And in a recent interview with Piers Morgan, he said, “I think a lot of people are going to be very happy,” when asked about a White House rerun.
Will Bankman-Fried’s billions do any good?
Despite the vast financial reserves at his disposal, the crypto chief’s support for and funding of political candidate and fellow effective altruist Carrick Flynn didn’t exactly work out. Despite investing over $11 million dollars into Flynn’s campaign in Oregon, he lost out to Democratic candidate Andrea Salinas.
He also previously offered up $5.2 million in political funding for pro-Biden campaigns back in 2020.
Despite his outwardly altruistic motives, Bankman-Fried’s political ventures are still drawing criticism from some quarters. Specifically, concerns have been raised about the increasing role crypto has to play in policymaking.
Watchdog Revolving Door Project told Politico: “They want to work with lawmakers, but the goal is to create legislation that would absolve them of any current violations of securities law.”