Super Tuesday to test resurgent crypto industry's political might

Crypto's back! And not just in markets. The growing cryptocurrency business is investing millions of dollars in Super Tuesday primaries in California, Alabama, and Texas to support crypto-friendly politicians and defeat pro-regulation candidates in 2024.

The increasingly affluent crypto executives' influence in November will depend on how these candidates do on Tuesday, when dozens of races across America are narrowed down to two.

Fairshake, Protect Progress, and Defend American Jobs, new industry super PACs backed by Coinbase and the Winklevoss twins, have spent at least $13 million in Tuesday's primary races, according to Reuters analysis of OpenSecrets data.

"The crypto community plays politics to win," stated Josh Vlasto, Fairshake spokeswoman. "We will have influence and impact in races behind candidates who align with our agenda and our vision." The three super PACs raised roughly $102 million from January 2023 to January 2024, according to Federal Election Commission data.

After the bankruptcy of several major players in 2022 depressed prices and spurred a government crackdown, the cryptocurrency industry has risen and Bitcoin achieved a new high last week.

OpenSecrets data shows that the industry, including employees and political action committees, had donated $59.2 million to the 2024 election cycle, up from $26.8 million in the 2022 midterm campaign and $1.6 million in 2020.

Key targets include Senate candidate Katie Porter, a progressive Democrat from California. Fairshake launched a statewide TV and internet media purchase to get voters to oppose Porter, spending over $10 million. In 2022, Porter joined U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren to ask Texas' electric grid operator about cryptomining and how its power affects climate change and the energy system.

Porter's campaign spokesman Lindsay Reilly said, "This shady super PAC is spending more than $10 million to kick Katie out of Washington because they know she will stand up for Californians and take on powerful special interests like them in the Senate."

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