PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Ripple Pledges $25 Million Yearly to Crypto Super PAC 

Ripple has donated another $25 million to pro-cryptocurrency political action committee (PAC) Fairshake.

And there’s more where that came from, the blockchain payments company’s CEO told Axios in an interview published Wednesday (May 29).

“This isn’t a one-time thing,” said Brad Garlinghouse, pledging to give Fairshake $25 million annually, so long as the crypto industry continues to have its naysayers.

Ripple had also given Fairshake another $25 million in 2023. The new donation — which the Axios report says brings Fairshake’s funds on hand to $110 million, nearly half of that from Ripple — comes as the crypto industry is enjoying new tailwinds in Washington, D.C.

The crypto sector’s super PACs have become one of the top three fundraisers in the 2024 election cycle, behind only the super PAC behind Republican Ron DeSantis’ failed presidential campaign and the one supporting Democratic Senate candidates, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen said in a report earlier this month.

And last week, the House of Representatives passed the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, the first step in creating a comprehensive federal framework that supporters say both ensures regulatory certainty for digital assets and while providing key consumer protections.

And bipartisan support for the bill — passing 279 to 208, with 71 Democrats joining the 208 Republican supporters — “shows how far the embattled crypto sector has come, from a regulatory perspective, in America,” PYMNTS wrote last week.

Still, the passage of the bill — whose future in the Senate is still uncertain — didn’t come without controversy. In the hours before the vote, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler issued a statement saying the bill would undermine his agency’s work.

The legislation, Gensler stressed, “would create new regulatory gaps and undermine decades of precedent regarding the oversight of investment contracts, putting investors and capital markets at immeasurable risk.”

In addition, President Joe Biden issued a policy statement opposing the bill, saying that it “in its current form lacks sufficient protections for consumers and investors who engage in certain digital asset transactions.”

“Still, the bill passed, providing a glimmer of hope to an industry that has long bemoaned the lack of regulatory clarity around its operations in the U.S,” PYMNTS wrote.

“Next up, the crypto industry will need to prove its usability and utility across payments and commerce as it seeks continued inroads into the traditional financial landscape and greater mainstream acceptance.”