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Joe Biden’s Administration Sues Coinbase Yet Needs It For Crypto Donations

2 mins
Updated by Daria Krasnova
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In Brief

  • Biden's campaign seeks crypto donations via Coinbase despite an ongoing SEC lawsuit against the exchange.
  • The contradictory stance on crypto donations and legal actions raises skepticism within the crypto community.
  • Biden’s outreach efforts aim to show support for the industry but face criticism due to past unfavorable policies.
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A recent report reveals that US President Joe Biden’s campaign team is discussing with the industry players the possibility of accepting crypto donations.

Aiming to appeal to the crypto community, the outcome of these efforts could impact the outlook of the upcoming presidential race in November.

Biden’s Crypto Campaign Faces Community Skepticism

Biden’s campaign team reportedly plans to accept crypto donations through the Coinbase Commerce platform. A source familiar with the matter mentioned that the team is focusing on crypto-related issues. They are also seeking fast solutions to demonstrate their support for the industry.

“They are trying to show that they’re not the enemy,” the source shared.

Read more: How To Donate Crypto Using The Giving Block

This development is particularly interesting, given that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Coinbase last year. In early June 2023, the SEC accused Coinbase of acting as an unregistered broker since 2019. Moreover, the agency alleged Coinbase for violating securities rules by offering a staking program and unregistered trading services for certain crypto assets.

This move follows another crypto-related campaign from President Biden. BeInCrypto reported that Biden began engaging with crypto industry players in late May as part of his re-election campaign. He aimed to understand the “crypto community and policy moving forward.”

The outreach began in mid-May after the campaign team recognized the potential impact of crypto issues on the presidential election. The re-election team has contacted several crypto experts, including those previously distanced by Biden.

However, these efforts appear insufficient to garner support from the crypto community. Nic Carter, partner at Castle Island Ventures, expressed his skepticism. He noted that Biden’s administration had done several unfavorable policy and enforcement actions toward the crypto industry.

According to Carter, these actions include “bullying” banks into dropping crypto clients and engaging in legal actions against major crypto exchanges. Furthermore, he highlighted the administration’s “harassment” of Bitcoin miners and pushing many high-quality projects and stablecoins abroad.

Carter’s list of grievances continued. He pointed out the administration’s refusal to clarify securities law while enforcing it haphazardly, making DeFi virtually illegal in the US, and creating legal risks for participating in DAOs.

“And they have the absolute temerity to think we’re gonna donate crypto to the campaign?” He wrote.

Indeed, Biden’s administration has long been known for maintaining a stringent approach toward the crypto industry. However, starting last month, the administration has shown a softening stance. This includes the passage of several crypto-focused bills and a sudden approval of spot Ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Many believe that a shift in Biden’s stance on the crypto industry is influenced by the competition with former president Donald Trump, who is also running for the upcoming presidential election in November. Contrary to Biden, Trump has shown friendly gestures to the crypto industry.

For instance, Trump has pledged to support crypto self-custody, promising to pardon Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht. He has officially accepted donations in cryptocurrency, which also uses Coinbase Commerce services.

Read more: How Does Regulation Impact Crypto Marketing? A Complete Guide

Chances of US Presidential Candidates to Win 2024's Election.
Chances of US Presidential Candidates to Win 2024’s Election. Source: Polymarket

According to the odds on the prediction market platform Polymarket, Trump is leading with a 56% chance to win this year’s presidential election, while Biden only has a 35% chance.

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Lynn Wang
Lynn Wang is a seasoned journalist at BeInCrypto, covering a wide range of topics, including tokenized real-world assets (RWA), tokenization, artificial intelligence (AI), regulatory enforcement, and investments in the crypto industry. Previously, she led a team of content creators and journalists for BeInCrypto Indonesia, focusing on the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in the region, as well as regulatory developments. Prior to that, at Value Magazine, she covered...