Sam Bankman-Fried plans $1 billion for US elections

The central theses

  • FTX Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has stated that he could donate over $100 million in the 2024 presidential election.
  • He added that he could donate up to $1 billion depending on the candidate and campaign issues.
  • He donated $5.2 million to Biden’s campaign last year and more than $9 million to congressional candidates.

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FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has said he could spend as much as $1 billion in the 2024 US presidential election.

FTX CEO can donate up to $1 billion

CNBC reported today Bankman-Fried announced his spending plans in an interview on the “What’s Your Problem?” podcast.

Bankman-Fried reportedly expects to donate “north of $100 million” with a “soft cap” of $1 billion in the 2024 election. “I would hate to say hard blanket because who knows what will happen by then,” he commented.

He added that he would determine the exact amount based on the candidates and their policies, concluding that the amount “depends exactly on who is running and where [and] for what.”

A $1 billion donation would smash existing records many times over, based on Open Secrets data cited by CNBC. To date, America’s biggest single political donors are Republican entrepreneurs Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who spent $218 million in 2020.

SBF has previously donated

Bankman-Fried has a history of previous political donations.

In the US elections in November 2020, he donated $5.2 million to Joe Biden’s campaign. That was the second largest donation to Biden after the $56 million spent by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

As of April 2021, Bankman-Fried had spent over $9 million on congressional candidates through his Protect Our Future PAC. Now that amount is estimated at $20 million. One candidate who benefited from the PAC — Democratic nominee Carrick Flynn of Oregon — was defeated by Republican Andrea Salinas in a primary last week.

Open Secrets has named additional donors within the crypto industry. Those names include Ripple executives Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, Coinbase legal heads Paul Grewal and Juan Suarez, ex-Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara, and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell.

Recent reports from CNBC suggest that the crypto industry and its members have spent $30 million since the 2020 election cycle.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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