Market Analysis

Sam Bankman-Fried Budgets $1 Billion for U.S. Elections


The FTX founder could become the biggest political donor in U.S. history in 2024.

Photo credit: Melissa Alcena/Bloomberg; Shutterstock background by cowardlion.

Key Takeaways

  • FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has stated that he could donate over $100 million in the 2024 presidential election.
  • He added that he could donate up to $1 billion, depending on the candidates and the campaign issues that are in play.
  • He donated $5.2 million to Biden’s campaign last year and has donated more than $9 million to congressional candidates.

FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has stated that he could spend up to $1 billion in the 2024 U.S. presidential elections.

FTX CEO May Donate Up to $1 Billion

CNBC reported today that Bankman-Fried revealed his spending plans in an interview on the podcast “What’s Your Problem?”

Bankman-Fried reportedly expects to donate “north of $100 million” with a “soft ceiling” of $1 billion in the 2024 elections. “I would hate to say hard ceiling, because who knows what’s going to happen between now and then,” he commented.

He added that he would determine the precise amount based on the candidates and their policies, concluding that the amount is “dependent on exactly who’s running where [and] for what.”

A $1 billion donation would break existing records several times over, based on data from Open Secrets cited by CNBC. To date, the largest single U.S. political donors are the Republican entrepreneurs Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who spent $218 million in 2020.

SBF Has Made Prior Donations

Bankman-Fried has a history of previous political donations.

In the November 2020 U.S. elections, he donated $5.2 million to Joe Biden’s campaign. That was the second-largest donation to Biden behind the $56 million spent by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

By April 2021, Bankman-Fried had spent over $9 million on congressional candidates through his Protect Our Future PAC. Now, that amount is estimated at $20 million. One candidate that benefited from the PAC—Democratic candidate Carrick Flynn of Oregon—was defeated in a primary last week by Republican Andrea Salinas.

Open Secrets has named other donors within the crypto industry. Those names include Ripple executives Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, Coinbase legal executives Paul Grewal and Juan Suarez, ex-Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara, and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell.

Recent reports from CNBC suggest that the crypto industry and its members spent $30 million since the 2020 election cycle.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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