Crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried hints he could spend up to $1 billion on political campaigns, including to keep Trump out




  • In Politics
  • 2022-05-25 13:11:34Z
  • By Business Insider
Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried  
  • FTX chief Sam Bankman-Fried said he could donate up to $1 billion in the 2024 election cycle.

  • Asked whether he would spend big to counter a run by Donald Trump, he said, "That's a pretty decent guess."

  • Bankman-Fried has stepped up his political giving, and laid out $31.5 million on primary races ahead of the midterms.

FTX boss and crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried indicated he could dole out up to $1 billion in the 2024 election cycle to keep ex-President Donald Trump from winning.

If Bankman-Fried lives up to the amount, he would set a record for being the largest political donor ever in a single election.

The crypto exchange CEO was asked by Jacob Goldstein in a podcast interview whether Trump deciding to run in 2024 would prompt him to give a lot of money to the opposing candidate.

"That's a pretty decent guess," Bankman-Fried said on the podcast, released Tuesday.

The crypto boss has come in for criticism that he is trying to "buy" elections after giving as much as $31.5 million to candidates' campaigns in the current primaries ahead of the midterm races.

Asked how much money he might give in 2024 cycle, Bankman-Fried said he could lay out as much as $1 billion - almost one-tenth of his $10.9 billion net worth, per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index on Wednesday.

"I would guess north of $100 million. As for how much more than that, I don't know. It really does depend on what happens. It's really dependent on exactly who's running where, for what," he said.

"[$1 billion] is a decent thing to look at as a - I would hate to say hard ceiling, because who knows what's going to happen between now and then - but at least sort of as a soft ceiling."

Given that, Bankman-Fried said it was evidently possible he will hand out more than $215 million - the biggest amount given in the 2020 presidential elections. "That would not surprise me," he said.

Bankman-Fried has been an active political donor in recent times. In April, the 30-year-old billionaire said he intends to give away 99% of his wealth, driven by his philosophy of "effective altruism."

In May alone, he injected $16 million into super PACs in the busy summer primary season ahead of the US midterm elections in November. Super PACs, or super political action committees, can raise unlimited funding from backers for use in candidates' campaigns.

His giving has been broad, going to those dedicated to animal welfare, anti-poverty causes, and preparation for the next COVID-like threat. Of his recent donations to super PACs, $10 million went to Protect Our Future, a pandemic-preventing super PAC, per Bloomberg.

Read more: Pussy Riot-led UnicornDAO raised $4.5 million to support women and LGBTQ+ artists. Here's an exclusive look at the 8-slide pitch deck that helped onboard members like Yuga Labs, Beeple, Sia and Grimes.

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