Friday Newsletter

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28 June 2024

Despite the significant financial influence of crypto lobbyists, Joe Biden and Donald Trump did not address cryptocurrency during their first debate on June 27, hosted by CNN. This omission occurred despite a substantial crypto lobbying effort aimed at influencing the 2024 elections.

Debate Overview

In the 90-minute debate, Biden and Trump discussed various critical issues, including economic strategies, abortion rights, immigration, and foreign policy. They also touched on their mental fitness, with Biden, 81, and Trump, 78, being the oldest candidates to run for president.

Crypto Lobbying Falls Short

The crypto sector, which has been actively raising and spending millions to influence the election, was notably absent from the discussion. Three major crypto-backed super political action committees (PACs) have collectively raised $202.8 million and spent $93.6 million to support their agendas. Despite this, the topic of cryptocurrency was entirely overlooked.

Major Crypto PAC Contributions

Fairshake PAC has raised $177.8 million and spent $70.8 million on the 2024 election cycle, primarily funding attack ads for congressional candidates. Protect Progress and Defend American Jobs, two other super PACs, have spent a combined $22.8 million after raising $25 million. These three PACs are among the top fundraisers, accepting unlimited donations but operating independently of the campaigns.

Candidates’ Stance on Crypto

Trump has criticized what he terms Biden’s “war on crypto” and has expressed support for Bitcoin miners, advocating for cryptocurrency production in the U.S. On the other hand, figures in the crypto industry have mixed views on Biden’s approach. Kraken CEO Dave Ripley suggests Biden is becoming more favorable toward crypto, while crypto advocate Mark Cuban argues that the SEC’s stringent enforcement actions under Gary Gensler could harm Biden’s re-election chances.

Voter Priorities

According to Gallup polls from May, cryptocurrency is not a priority for American voters, who are more concerned with the economy, inflation, governance, and immigration. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a pro-crypto independent candidate, did not qualify for the debate but held an alternative event where he discussed using AI and blockchain to reduce government waste.

Upcoming Events

Trump holds a slight lead over Biden in national polls, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. polling at 9.1%. The next debate between Biden and Trump is scheduled for September 10. The elections for president, vice president, all 435 House seats, and 34 Senate seats will take place on November 5.