Samuel Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of FTX, testifies during a Senate Agriculture, Food and Forestry Committee hearing on “Examining Digital Assets: Risks, Regulation and Innovation,” on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC , on February 9, 2022. .
Sol Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
A network of political action committees backed by cryptocurrency industry leaders are planning a last-minute ad campaign in support of congressional candidates, according to one of the groups’ chief strategists.
Web3 Forward and Crypto Innovation, two super PACs funded by crypto executives, are expected to spend at least six figures on an advertising blitz that begins in two weeks, the strategist explained. This person declined to be named to speak freely about the private planning.
The groups plan to invest in television ads supporting candidates on both sides of the aisle just days before midterm election day, Nov. 8, this person said. The PACs are looking to initially air their benefits in California, Oregon, Colorado and Texas, but are still evaluating which candidates they will support.
During the primary season, Web3 Forward supported Democrats running for Congress, while Crypto Innovation supported Republicans, according to Federal Election Commission records. Neither PAC has bought any campaign ads since September, when the primaries ended.
Of the 11 House and Senate races in which Web3 Forward has spent money, nine of the group’s favored candidates have won, according to data from the nonpartisan OpenSecrets. Congressional candidates included Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman, on whose support the PAC spent $212,000.
Crypto Innovation invested in seven competitions and five of the favored candidates prevailed. They included Ted Budd, the North Carolina Republican Senate candidate backed by former President Donald Trump.
Crypto PAC spending will contribute to an influx of cash in what is expected to be the most expensive midterm election ever. $6.4 billion has already flowed into TV, radio and digital ads.
Democrats control the House and Senate, but only by slim margins. The Senate is split 50-50 along party lines, and Democrats must rely on Vice President Kamala Harris for casting votes.
Several Senate elections, including those in Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona, will determine which party controls the Senate. Meanwhile, dozens of races across the country will determine whether Democrats can retain their eight-seat majority in the House of Representatives.
Web3 Forward and Crypto Innovation are primarily funded by GMI PAC, another super PAC that has seen huge donations from cryptocurrency leaders. Contributions include $2 million in January from FTX CEO Samuel Bankman-Fried.
The group also received $1 million each in May from Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, two managing partners at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, records show. The firm’s portfolio includes cryptocurrency companies.
Former Trump White House communications director and SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci donated $100,000 to Crypto Innovation in March, according to an FEC filing.
GMI PAC’s founding board of directors includes CMS Holdings co-founder Dan Matuszewski, Framework Ventures co-founder Vance Spencer and FTX Digital Markets CEO Ryan Salame, according to crypto news outlet The Block.
Web3 Forward and Crypto Innovation did not respond to requests for comment prior to publication.