Sam Bankman-Fried, the head of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has reversed his comments that he would donate up to $1 billion in the next U.S. presidential election slated to take place in November 2024.
In an interview with Politico’s Morning Money published on Friday, the FTX founder said: “That was a dumb quote on my part. I think my messaging was sort of sloppy and inconsistent in some cases.”
That is bad news for Democrats who have been looking for more funding to drive their campaigns against Republicans for the election race.
Bankman-Fried said that releasing his fortune in the days before elections wouldn’t do much to elevate his policy priorities. The billionaire has been a vocal advocate for crypto regulation and pandemic preparedness.
The FTX boss said despite talking to voters, spending more time, money, and anything else on such activities, he may not accomplish anything more.
Bankman-Fried, who was in Washington for conference appearances this week, said: “I think primaries are more important. Frankly, I could try and talk about pandemic preparedness in a general election. But most voters are gonna say, ‘That’s cool, but like, I’m a Democrat’ or ‘I’m a Republican.’ That’s not going to move the needle enough for me to go over all of the other issues.”
Bankman-Fried has spent nearly $40 million on political action committees (PACs) and campaigns this year, a big chunk of funds going to the Democratic party and its candidates. That is enough to make him one of the biggest donors in politics today.
However, that is only a fraction of the $1 billion he previously said he’d be willing to spend in the 2024 general elections. He was one of the top contributors to Joe Biden for the successful 2020 presidential campaign.
Crypto is becoming more mainstream – currently, 20% of American adults own digital assets. With that growth, an increase in donations by crypto executives and investors to political candidates friendly to the new industry has been on the rise.
Political donations from the industry rose to more than $26 million between last year and March 2022. That influx of funding outpaced finances raised by internet giants, drug makers, and the defense industry investors for candidates heading into November’s congressional elections.
The issue of regulating digital assets appears to be divisive as issues surrounding gun control and abortion rights. The upcoming election will have a huge consequence for crypto regulations, according to market observers.
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