Coinbase Files with the FEC to Shutter its Political Action Committee


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Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world by reported trading volume has shuttered its political action committee (PAC). This was revealed in the exchange’s official filing with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on April 3, 2019.

According to a filing with the FEC, the regulatory agency in the U.S. responsible for enforcing election laws, Coinbase has requested to shut down its PAC without ever raising a cent. However, the filing states that the FEC is yet to grant the exchange’s termination request.

What Are PACs?

PACs, short for political action committees, are independent organizations in the U.S. and Canada that raise funds for politicians and campaigners running for public office. These organizations typically raise and donate funds for various political, business, and labor interests.

In the U.S., an organization formally becomes a PAC when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing a federal election. Further, such an organization must also be registered with the FEC.

Coinbase’s PAC Shutters without any Action

During its relatively short-lived existence of ten months, Coinbase’s PAC didn’t raise any funds nor did it endorse any candidates.

Per the FEC’s official website, a PAC can request to terminate its operations if “it no longer receives (or intends to receive) contributions,” or if “it no longer makes (or intends to make) expenditures.”

However, this does not exempt the committee from regularly filing disclosure reports with the political watchdog. FEC’s website states that committees seeking termination of operations are required by law to continue filing disclosure reports until the FEC agrees to their dissolution.

The site reads:

“Committees shouldn’t stop filing just because they checked the ‘Termination Report’ box on their regular campaign finance disclosure form. Committees must file regularly scheduled reports until the Commission notifies them in writing that it has granted their request to terminate.”

The San Francisco-based crypto exchange formed its PAC in July 2018. The committee later went on to become one of the founding members of the Blockchain Association, a well-known blockchain lobbying group on K Street, Washington D.C.

Notably, the Blockchain Association has been working incessantly with other blockchain and crypto lobbying groups to establish a uniform code of ethics and standards for professionals working in the niche industry. Other notable members of the Blockchain Association include tech startup Protocol Labs, Digital Currency Group, and Polychain Capital.

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