Crypto Fundraising Startup Will Accept Political Donations In Digital Currencies As 2022 Midterm Elections Heat Up

With over 19,000 virtual currencies in existence, the cryptocurrency industry has compared the current state of the market to the early years of the internet. However, industry players said that most of these coins will crash.

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Candidates running for office in the 2022 midterms could see a boost to their campaign war chests with the launch of a fundraising platform that will accept and process crypto donations.

The new platform, titled Engage Raise, will launch in July and will allow federal candidates to raise campaign money solely through cryptocurrencies.

Crypto executives have contributed more than $30 million to federal candidates and campaigns since the start of the 2020 election cycle, and more crypto advocates, such as bitcoin investor Erik Finman, have become key campaign funders.

“Candidates can use our platform to connect with the cryptocurrency and blockchain community through fundraising, events, and messaging,” Martin Dobelle, CEO of Engage Labs, the parent company of Engage Raise, told CNBC in a statement. email. Campaigns will be able to process contributions in all major cryptocurrencies through a web browser or by adding a widget to their websites, Dobelle said.

While digital currencies are known for allowing their owners to transact anonymously, all cryptocurrency donations through Engage will need to be disclosed to the Federal Election Commission like most campaign contributions.

Dobelle said Engage Labs has already seen nearly $1 million in pre-seed investment. She said some of the seed funding came from business leaders, including Al Reid, a founding partner of Calypso Investment Partners, and Raf Michalowski, CEO of hotspot seller CoastFi.

Allan Keen, president of the real estate firm Keewin Real Property said it invested in Engage Labs, in part, because it believes it helps move “the Democratic process further into the digital age by enabling the acceptance of cryptocurrency for campaign donations.”

The move to create an online platform for political donors to use cryptocurrency comes as the large crypto industry becomes a powerful lobbying force in Washington.

While cryptocurrencies have tried to exert their influence on Capitol Hill, the industry as a whole appears to be in the midst of a bumpy ride. Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, recently announced that it would lay off nearly a fifth of its workforce amid a collapse in its stock and cryptocurrency prices.

Bitcoin this week fell to a new 18-month low, dipping below $21,000 on Wednesday. The most valuable cryptocurrency is down almost 70% since hitting an all-time high of over $68,000 in November 2021. Ether, the second largest token, is down almost 80% since the peak of the crypto craze.

Dobelle is going ahead with the launch of Engage Labs and Engage Raise despite the cryptocurrency struggles, believing that the digital currency markets will rebound early next year and continue until the 2024 election, when fundraising related to cryptocurrencies could play a role in the presidential vote. .

“We are optimistic that the broader market will recover, along with cryptocurrencies, and that a major cryptocurrency bull cycle will lead to the crucially important elections in 2024,” Dobelle said.

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