Ripple, Coinbase, a16z invest $78M in pro-crypto PAC ahead of US elections

Ripple, Coinbase, a16z invest $78M in pro-crypto PAC ahead of US elections

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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has publicly announced the company’s intent to support “pro-crypto’ candidates during the 2024 United States election season. The company is among a group to have pledged a total of $78 million to support the Fairshake political action committee (PAC).

Fairshake announced that prominent industry firms and players had contributed to a significant “war chest” to back candidates who support American crypto and blockchain innovation and responsible regulation in the upcoming 2024 elections.

The list includes individuals like Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, Circle, Coinbase, Kraken, Messari and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

Related: Coinbase initiative announces crypto-themed US presidential forum

Garlinghouse took to X (formerly Twitter) to condemn regulatory overreach in the country and said Ripple would be “leading the charge with other industry leaders” to support candidates lobbying for complimentary regulation of the industry in 2024.

Team @Ripple is putting a stake in the ground, leading the charge with other industry leaders to support pro-innovation and pro-crypto candidates in the 2024 US election cycle. The US cannot afford to continue taking a back seat on the global stage.
Regulatory overreach (esp from… https://t.co/hpkqNf7Y99

— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) December 18, 2023

“Regulatory overreach (esp from the SEC) is actively moving the U.S. in the wrong direction, and other countries are taking full advantage of the lack of US leadership. We need to advance leaders who will champion innovation and spearhead paths towards responsible regulation,” Garlinghouse wrote.

The Ripple CEO added that the industry needs to encourage initiatives that promote “transparency, innovation and a compliance-first approach.”

Cryptocurrency firms operating in the U.S. have faced an uphill battles against regulators over the past two years. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in particular, has copped widespread criticism from industry players for its “regulate-by-enforcement” approach.

Related: US politician uses AI campaign caller ahead of 2024 elections: Report

The securities regulator set its sights on both Coinbase and Binance.US in 2023, instituting separate legal proceedings against both companies for alleged securities offering violations.

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) founder and managing director Chris Dixon also announced that the firm would contribute to the Fairshake PAC in 2024. The PAC aims to elect leaders that “champion thoughtful crypto regulation” that balances consumer protection.

“There is a battle in Washington about the future of blockchain technologies: Certain policymakers believe it should be banned, while other people think it should have no guardrails. Neither of those options will allow the technology to reach its full potential and realign the future of the Internet away from Big Tech to the people who use it,” Dixon wrote.

The a16z founder said that the coalition will aim to raise funds to support the PAC and help advance “clear rules of the road” to support technological innovation and route out bad actors.

According to Politico, the Fairshake PAC has already spent $1.2 million on television advertising campaigns in the U.S.

Magazine: Lawmakers’ fear and doubt drives proposed crypto regulations in US

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