Coinbase Files to Form a PAC Ahead of 2022 Midterms

Crypto firms are vying for influence in Washington, D.C.

AccessTimeIconFeb 8, 2022 at 10:44 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 8, 2022 at 11:48 p.m. UTC

Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

Coinbase is backing a political action committee (PAC) this election cycle.

On Monday, the publicly traded crypto firm registered “​​Coinbase Innovation PAC” with the Federal Election Commission, sending a strong signal of its desire to sway federal officials during the 2022 midterm election cycle. The crypto exchange is hardly alone: Industry heavyweights formed their own pro-crypto PAC late last month.

Politico first reported the Coinbase filing.

The growing number of crypto PACs speaks to an industry hungry for political influence. Shaken by last year’s messy (and unresolved) crypto tax debate, firms such as Coinbase ran up their largest-ever lobbying bills in an effort to hold the line. Coinbase spent $740,000 lobbying the Senate during the fourth quarter.

Forming a PAC could shift Coinbase’s horse-trading further down the food chain, to candidates for office.

Filings indicate that Coinbase’s PAC and its lobbying effort are closely aligned. Head of U.S. Policy Kara Calvert is listed as a contact on the form. She took that job in November after lobbying for Coinbase as a partner at Franklin Square Group.

Coinbase formed a PAC in 2018 but quickly scuttled the effort with nothing to show for it.

“​​Coinbase is committed to engaging with policymakers and to promote crypto-forward policy at the federal level in the U.S.,” a Coinbase spokesperson told CoinDesk via email. “​​We believe the bipartisan potential is clear and we intend to support crypto-forward lawmakers who align with our mission to advance economic freedom for all Americans.”

Calvert did not respond to CoinDesk emails.

UPDATE (Feb. 8, 23:48 UTC): Adds comment from Coinbase spokesperson.

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Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.