The Blockchain Association has launched a political action committee to support “pro-crypto” candidates seeking congressional office, the group said Monday.
The move by the crypto lobby organization underlined the industry’s bid for a stronger presence in Washington, where it faces heightened scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators.
The Blockchain Association said it will support candidates “from across the political spectrum” noting in a statement that “crypto is, by nature, nonpartisan.” The organization said it plans to endorse candidates in the upcoming November midterm elections. The Blockchain Association’s “hope is to donate roughly 50% of the committees’ funds to Democrats and 50% to Republicans,” a spokesperson told Protocol.
“Crypto has arrived in D.C. and, as an industry, we plan to fortify and expand our presence as lawmakers and regulators continue their engagement on core questions of economic freedom, digital privacy, and financial inclusion,” executive director Kristin Smith said in a statement.
The Blockchain Association includes some of the crypto industry’s most important players, including Circle, Anchorage Digital and Ripple.
The launch of the PAC comes at a time when the crypto industry is dealing with growing concerns about its impact on the financial system in the wake of a stunning cryptocurrency market crash that wiped out about $2 trillion in value. The industry has also reeled from a wave of breaches and ransomware attacks.
The crypto industry has found allies in some lawmakers, such as Sen. Cynthia Lummis, who owns bitcoin and co-authored a bill that seeks to provide more regulatory clarity on crypto. But the industry is also facing tough questions from other legislators led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has warned against the use of crypto in illicit finance and sanctions violations.
The crypto industry is also facing growing pressure from the SEC, whose chairman, Gary Gensler, has argued that most cryptocurrencies should be regulated as securities, a view largely rejected by the industry.