Coinbase forms a second PAC to support crypto-friendly candidates
Crypto exchange Coinbase has filed for a political action committee reportedly to support “crypto-forward lawmakers” ahead of the 2022 midterm elections in the United States.
According to a Feb. 7 filing with the Federal Election Commission, Coinbase’s chief financial officer Alesia Haas and head of U.S. policy Kara Calvert registered the Coinbase Innovation PAC. The lobbyist/registrant political action committee will likely be required to make disclosures of funds to designated representatives in Congress.
Political action committees, or PACs, are organizations often aimed at raising funds to elect candidates supporting similar causes, implying Coinbase is looking to get behind crypto-friendly candidates ahead of federal and state elections in November. The exchange registered its first PAC in July 2018 but closed it the following year after reporting it had received no funds or made no disbursements.
Though it abstained from forming a PAC to get involved in U.S. politics, Coinbase still made a number of decisions in 2021 suggesting that it was concerned about the possible impact of anti-crypto lawmakers who continued to hold office. Together with Square — now Block — the exchange formed the Crypto Council for Innovation in April 2021 to better facilitate a dialogue with regulators and lawmakers on crypto. Politico also reported Coinbase had spent $1.5 million on lobbying in 2021 with disclosure filings showing that the exchange spent roughly half that amount in the fourth quarter, alone.
“We believe the bi-partisan potential is clear and we intend to support crypto-forward lawmakers who align with our mission to advance economic freedom for all Americans,” said a Coinbase spokesperson, according to Politico.
The formation of the PAC comes roughly nine months prior to election day in the United States — Nov. 8 — with control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate essentially up for grabs. Cointelegraph reported in November that pro-crypto candidate Aarika Rhodes is running to unseat California Representative Brad Sherman, who previously called for a ban on digital assets.
However, crypto is seemingly not the single issue many U.S. voters consider in elections. Morgan Harper is currently running for one of two U.S. Senate seats for Ohio, seeking to replace departing pro-crypto Senator Rob Portman. During his time in office, Portman has advocated for regulatory clarity in the crypto space. Harper has also said she would be “in learning mode” on cryptocurrencies.
Cointelegraph reached out to Coinbase, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.