Crypto lobbying intensifies with $20M ‘Gonna Make It’ political fund
Anthony Scaramucci and FTX exec Ryan Salame are planning to pump $20 million into lobbying pro-crypto congressional candidates through a new political action committee (PAC), reports Politico.
The pair’s GMI PAC — short for the crypto catchphrase “Gonna Make It” — sprung into existence on Twitter last week but is yet to formally disclose its first beneficiary.
The group has raised over $5 million so far to support crypto-friendly congresspersons in November’s mid-term elections.
“27 million Americans own crypto. When we organize, when we mobilize, we are unstoppable,” tweeted the group. “Are you GMI?”
According to its website, the GMI PAC wants to keep crypto innovation in the US.
“GMI PAC supports candidates who work to give US-based innovators the opportunity to build next-generation technologies and services here in America rather than doing that valuable work overseas,” said the committee.
However, the matter of who’s behind GMI PAC suggests the group’s pro-crypto political proclivities cross party lines.
Salame (who runs crypto exchange FTX’s Bahmanian operations) remains politically ambiguous, while his 29-year-old billionaire boss gets very political with his net worth.
Last year, FTX chief exec Sam Bankman-Fried was outed as one of US president Joe Biden’s biggest financial backers, having donated $5 million to his campaign.
Whereas Sky Bridge Capital’s Anthony Scaramucci, a Republican, served as Donald Trump’s communication director, albeit for just 11 days.
As for whether GMI will back the famously anti-crypto Trump if he again ran for office (which he flirted with this past weekend), the former president hasn’t officially confirmed any political intentions.
Other names associated with GMI PAC include Multicoin Capital and Blockchain Capital’s Vance Spencer and CMS Holdings co-founder Dan Matuszewski.
Crypto lobbying surges before White House executive order
Biden’s White House is reportedly preparing to issue an executive order this month, which threatens the crypto economy with blanket regulations.
So, it’s no surpirse that players across crypto are spending big to apply their influence.
After all, the US securities and exchange commission last month blocked Scarramucci’s efforts to launch the first US-listed spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).
The market regulator said that the proposed ETF failed to meet “the requirement that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices”
In any case, crypto bigwigs have bolstered their lobbying powers ahead of Washington’s input.
- Coinbase alone spent $1 million on its lobbying lobbying program in 2021’s fourth quarter.
- Rival crypto exchanges FTX.US, BinanceUS, and Gemini also dished out funds to sway political candidates.
- Outspoken Kraken chief Jesse Powell directly funneled cash to “crypto backers in politics,” including Ted Cru, Cynthia Lummis, Kyrsten Sinema.
Read more: [Bitcoin billionaires, a16z threw cash at US Senator before crypto tax vote]
Notably, Sinema fielded money from a raft of industry insiders like Andreessen Horowitz execs last year — just before she curiously changed her mind on a critical vote about crypto tax regulation.
Not to mention, it appears some political hopefuls have outright turned to crypto to collect cash. Earlier this year, Republican senate candidate Blake Masters boasted over $574,000 in campaign funding from selling NFTs.
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