The 2022 midterm elections will be held in the United States on November 8. 34 senators and all 435 members of the House of Representatives will be candidates. According to media reports, cryptocurrency lobbyists and political action committees have poured millions of dollars into select campaigns, and extensive polls have shown that voters have cryptocurrencies on their minds.
Fundraising and opinion polls are a normal part of the American political system, but the numbers associated with cryptocurrencies may have raised eyebrows. Sam Bankman-Fried calls $1 billion his ‘soft ceiling’ for election contributions in 2022, for example. Although he backed off on some of his intentions, he It remains the sixth largest donor in this election cycle. They exist numerous cryptocurrency-related political action committees also. As of Oct. 19, donors associated with cryptocurrencies spent more than donors to such traditional recipients as defense and big pharma, according to Bloomberg.
Survey commissioned by Grayscale between October 6 and 11 shows that 38% of voters the survey will “consider cryptopolitics positions”. A survey commissioned by the Crypto Council for Innovation around the same time showed that 45% of voters “We want lawmakers to treat cryptocurrencies as a serious and valid part of the economy.”
Why all the excitement?
Crypto continues to seep into everyday life, even in the current adverse market conditions. However, someone with some distance from the industry might be surprised to hear that 45% of potential American voters have any opinion at all about cryptocurrencies.
But 40 million Americans own crypto and take it personally, Cornell Law School faculty member and Foley & Lardner partner Patrick Daugherty told Cointelegraph:
“Does ‘cryptopolitics’ resonate with voters as much as inflation and other headlines? Probably not, but then again, many voters are buying cryptocurrencies as a hedge against inflation.”
In addition, “Crypto is the future of money, which is important to every American,” Daugherty said.
Martin Dobelle, one of the three co-founders of political software company Engage, agreed. “The average person cares more about this issue than you would expect,” he said. Dobelle attributed voter interest in cryptocurrencies to a generally positive attitude toward technology, especially among young people. He told Cointelegraph:
“Voters are very pro-technology, pro-innovation and they […] they may not know the specifics of crypto legislation or technology legislation, but they have some intuitive sense of […] what would a political mindset that moves towards embracing technology and innovation look like.”
Engage is a non-profit corporation with a mission to increase public participation in the political process. Among its activities, Engage is fundraising in cryptocurrencies for 16 pro-crypto candidates.
what are we doing here
Another logical question is what will crypto currency voters achieve. Pro-crypto House members like Minnesota Republican Tom Emmer and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden are expected to win their races easily, while Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan faces equally pro-crypto Republican JD Vance. Not only that, the cryptocurrency regulatory situation is relatively under control, with bills already in the House and Senate.
Hogan Lovells partner Aaron Cutler saw limited connection between the election and upcoming cryptocurrency regulation. “I don’t think it’s a question of political support, but rather a question of political priorities,” he said, adding:
“That’s one of the reasons we’ve seen some legislation introduced in this Congress — not because it needs to be passed and enacted, but because members want to show leadership and carve out some legislative turf.”
On the other hand, seeing existing bills come to a vote more quickly is likely one effect that more political support would have.
Another effect of voting is keeping some candidates out of office. Attacks against cryptocurrencies are seen by many American voters as “threats to economic security and personal freedom,” Daugherty said.
1/ Starting today, Coinbase will begin integrating our crypto policy efforts directly into our app. They will help our 103 million verified users get educated about the crypto positions held by political leaders where they live. pic.twitter.com/3GqWZIioZQ
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) September 14, 2022
Willamette University law professor Rohan Gray had no vote on a single issue. Pollsters “don’t say yes [pro-crypto candidates] they are good people,” he said. Gray saw the vote as important as the action. “Give the impression that people are coming to your great party,” he said.
For Dobelle, the surge in political activity around cryptocurrencies was significant as a sign that cryptocurrencies are moving to the center of the political spectrum, which he says is “overdue.”
Whose party is it?
The bipartisan/nonpartisan nature of cryptocurrencies is often commented on, but there are clear differences in the crypto world. First, the cryptocurrency is skewed to the right. This can be seen, among other things, in the ratings of Crypto Action Network politicians. That organization has graduated 144 US lawmakers on their support for cryptocurrencies. (The remaining nearly 400 lawmakers likely have no record of cryptocurrency.) The scorecards gave Republicans an average score of 3.4 out of 4, converted to AF grades, while Democrats received an average of 2.1.
The bipartisan legislation, Daugherty said, is full of “sensible compromises” and has a better chance of passing in the current polarized environment. Cutler agreed, though he added that his firm envisions “Republican-led committee oversight and investigation by agencies with jurisdiction over digital assets and cryptocurrencies.”
Grey, a follower of modern monetary policy, had a simple explanation for the right leanings of cryptocurrencies based on their origins in libertarian economics and Cypherpunks:
“The problem that cryptocurrencies solve is inherently right-wing.”
Gray saw a single outcome of any predictable election outcome: “handing cryptocurrency over to big business.”
Whether these claims are accepted or not, they point to an old fundamental dichotomy: Crypto as the Wild West – alternative and unregulated money – and crypto regulated and integrated into the mainstream economy. In this light, the 2022 midterm elections are a repetition of a familiar trope and a slight movement towards its resolution.
Digital Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Policy Cody Carbone he wrote in one of his many tweets: “Crypto has yet to become a mainstream part of candidate platforms. Due to user adoption trends, this will CHANGE by the 2024 election. It is up to the voters and the industry to make sure our voices are heard.”