Key points:

  • The crypto industry has stepped up lobbying efforts in response to increased scrutiny from regulators and politicians.
  • Super PACs backed by the cryptocurrency sector raised more than $102 million in 2024, the third-highest total of any Super PAC.
  • The crypto industry is lobbying US lawmakers to limit the SEC’s powers to oversee the industry.

The head of the American crypto company Ripple expressed optimism about the impact of the crypto industry’s lobbying efforts on the upcoming US elections. The announcement comes after Ripple played a key role in raising record amounts of funds in support of pro-cryptocurrency politicians.

How influential are crypto investors?

Research group OpenSecrets reports that San Francisco-based Ripple is the second-largest donor to Fairshake, a so-called Super PAC that raised $92.9 million in an attempt to sway November’s congressional elections in favor of the crypto industry.

Super PACs backed by the cryptocurrency sector have raised more than $102 million this cycle, the third-highest total of any Super PAC running in the 2024 election, according to Public Citizen.

Independent political action committees, known as Super PACs, can raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, and then spend unlimited amounts to openly support or oppose political candidates.

At the Money20/20 fintech conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday, Ripple President Monica Long said the Super PAC is bipartisan and has a single purpose: supporting candidates who advocate for the rules desired by the crypto industry.

Clashes between the crypto industry and legislators

In response to growing attention from regulators and politicians, the crypto industry has stepped up efforts to lobby US lawmakers. This has become especially true after a series of bankruptcies of large crypto companies in 2022, which undermined investor confidence, exposed fraudulent schemes and left millions of people without access to their funds.

In turn, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed lawsuits against several leading crypto firms, including Ripple, accusing them of violating securities laws. In July, a federal court ruled that Ripple’s sale of the XRP token to sophisticated investors constituted an illegal sale of unregistered securities. However, the court also ruled that selling XRP on public exchanges did not meet the legal definition of a security. As a result, the SEC requires Ripple to pay fines and penalties in the amount of $2 billion.

In response, the crypto industry is lobbying for legislation that would limit the SEC’s powers to oversee the industry.

According to a report from Public Citizen, about half of the crypto industry’s lobbying spending comes from direct corporate spending, led by cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Ripple. However, evidence from within the industry suggests that lobbyists may have difficulty gaining support.

A May poll by US crypto company Digital Currency Group found that only 14% of voters in key US states whose votes could influence the future of cryptocurrency supported both Democrats and Republicans. However, 69% of them have a negative view of cryptocurrency, compared to 31% who are positive.

Last week, US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, vetoed a resolution proposed by Republicans, which he called “an improper attempt to limit the SEC’s ability to establish necessary protections and address future issues” related to crypto assets.