Crypto Exchange Coinbase Creates Political Action Committee

News | July 23, 2018 By:

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has created its own political action committee (PAC) to raise funds to spend on US elections.

In the US, a PAC is an organization that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation. At the US federal level, an organization becomes a PAC when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing a federal election, and registers with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Federal law formally allows for two types of PACs – connected and non-connected. Connected PACs are affiliated with a specific interest group, such as a business, industry, labor union or health organization. Connected PACs receive and raise money from a “restricted class,” generally consisting of managers and shareholders in the case of a corporation and members in the case of a union or other interest group. Non-connected PACs are set up by members of the public for one specific issue.

According to the filing at the FEC dated July 22, the exchange formed the “Coinbase, Inc. Political Action Committee” in June 2018. The PAC, however, had not raised or donated any money as of June 30. The filing also revealed that the PAC is currently not attached to any candidate running for public office.

Elliot Suthers, Coinbase communications director, confirmed that Coinbase has launched a PAC, but he declined to provide further details.

Prior to launching a PAC, Coinbase has already donated more than $81,000 for political causes. In 2014, the exchange gave about $3,000 to a PAC called BIT PAC, and in 2017, it donated $78,000 to the campaign of Brian Forde, a congressional candidate and former Office of Science and Technology Policy advisor to President Barack Obama.