Crypto super PAC plans to spend $20M

The cryptocurrency industry is gearing up to invest big in the midterms.

A group of crypto financiers said Friday it’s launching a super PAC that aims to spend more than $20 million to support congressional candidates ahead of the November elections. The backers include a top executive at the digital currency trading platform FTX, as well as SkyBridge Capital, the hedge fund led by former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who is trying to start a Bitcoin investment fund.

The group, dubbed GMI PAC, said it has already attracted $5.3 million in contributions that it will use to back candidates and members of Congress “who work to give consumers and innovators the opportunity to build and use next-generation technologies and services here in America.”

“This is long overdue,” CMS Holdings co-founder Dan Matuszewski, a member of the group’s board, said in a statement on Friday. “GMI PAC is the crypto community’s campaign arm and we are here to stay.”

GMI’s launch comes as well-heeled crypto startups and top venture capital firms ramp up lobbying to influence laws and regulations impacting the $1.6 trillion market, which saw an explosion in trading last year before experiencing a major dip in recent weeks. Industry associations are mounting aggressive campaigns to fight policies that would crack down on trading. A growing number of politicians on both sides of the aisle have started to court the industry and crypto enthusiasts for support.

GMI said its founding donors and board of directors include Matuszewski, FTX Digital Markets CEO Ryan Salame (the head of FTX’s Bahamian subsidiary) and Framework Ventures co-founder Vance Spencer. Other funders include investment firms Multicoin Capital and Blockchain Capital.

More crypto-focused political committees are likely in the offing.

Top executives at FTX — one of the largest digital currency trading platforms — are major backers of the new super PAC Protect Our Future that’s expected to invest in Democratic races this year. Its initial donors include FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried as well as Nishad Singh, head of engineering at the company. It plans to spend $10 million as it kicks off.

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