For the first time in crypotocurrency history, Crypto Exchange Coinbase has formed a Political Action Committee, also known as “PAC”, according to government documents published Friday night. Collin Wilhelm tweeted publicly, “SCOOP: @Coinbase has formed a political action committee as part of a push to increase its presence in DC.”
The Coinbase, Inc. Political Action Committee’s report had a time period from June 4th to June 30th. Even though the PAC was created in June of 2018, it has yet to raise or donate even a penny. The PAC has not been linked to an individual candidate or specific party.
Though this is the first cryptocurrency type of Political Action Committee, the actual crypto organization itself has donated to political causes. Brian Forde, who was a Congressional candidate and former Office of Science and Technology Policy Advisor to President Barrack Obama, received $78,000 from Coinbase for his political causes. Coinbase has also donated $3,000 to BIT PAC in 2014. In total, Coinbase has donated more than $81,000.
Political Action Committees have been created in the United States as a way of raising funds. Political candidates receive help from PACs to fund their campaigns. Political Action Committees tend to represent certain businesses or specific interests, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. To be classified as a Political Action Committee, the PAC must raise over $1,000 from their members and must channel the donations through campaign funds with the intent to help influence the electoral process.
In 2010 PACs, in general, received some backlash as many thought the Political Action Committee was a way of manipulating policies. The view was that the PAC framework that allows for hefty donations would provide an unfair advantage in elections. Eventually, these public ligations were overturned and PACs were allowed to receive private entities and treasury funds.
Earlier this year, Andreessen Horowitz formed a coalition to help increase the lobbying efforts in Washington. His main goal was to ensure that the SEC does not classify cryptocurrencies as securities.
Coinbase has used the PAC as a way of accessing politicians that have a major influence over financial regulatory policy. Knowing that Cryptocurrency has been previously viewed as suspicious, Coinbase believes by establishing a dialogue with politicians it will help support the candidates and influence policy.
When Elliot Suthers, the Coinbase Communications Director, was asked in a press encounter about these PACs he did confirm that the exchange PAC had been launched but, refused to give any more information on the topic.