Blockchain Association Sets Up New Crypto Industry PAC

The political action committee won’t be in full swing for the midterm elections that settle which party will control Congress

AccessTimeIconSep 12, 2022 at 6:12 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:16 p.m. UTC

The Blockchain Association is adding its own political action committee to the crypto industry’s growing array of campaign-finance efforts seeking to steer the U.S. government’s debate over digital assets.

The BA PAC will contribute to the campaigns of “pro-crypto candidates” from both parties, according to Kristin Smith, the Washington-based association’s executive director. The timing – dated Monday in the group’s filing with the Federal Election Commission – is too late to make a splash in November’s midterm elections that will decide if Republicans will surge into power in Congress or whether Democrats will maintain their tenuous hold. But the PAC will be in a position to exert influence in the presidential election year in 2024.

The PAC will still donate to candidates for this November's election, though a press release declined to identify which candidates.

“We believe crypto is by definition a non-partisan issue,” Smith said in a tweet on Monday. “We will support candidates in that spirit, seeking the best champions for this technology no matter which side of the aisle they come from.”

Smith herself has donated to candidates from both parties, as well as right-leaning fundraising group WinRed, according to FEC data.

The industry has quickly become one of the dominant forces in political giving, with its new PACs outpacing many of the political efforts from more established industries. Crypto billionaires such as Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the FTX crypto exchange, have poured tens of millions of dollars of their own money into U.S. politics over the past few years.

Julie Stitzel, vice president of public policy at CoinDesk parent company Digital Currency Group, will be the PAC's chairwoman. The directors will include Ryan Selkis, who founded crypto data provider Messari; Jonathan Jachym, the global head of policy at crypto exchange Kraken; John McCarthy, counsel at Wicklow Capital; and Seth Hertlein,, head of policy at digital wallet provider Ledger.


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Jesse Hamilton

Jesse Hamilton is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for global policy and regulation. He doesn't hold any crypto.