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Crypto industry cheers Bowman loss, Curtis victory in key election primaries

Crypto industry cheers Bowman loss, Curtis victory in key election primaries

The crypto industry is cheering the outcomes of two primary races that could impact the future of digital asset policy in the U.S.

One is the defeat of progressive New York Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who lost to Westchester County Executive George Latimer on Tuesday in the hotly contested race for New York’s 16th Congressional District seat. The other is the victory of Utah Rep. John Curtis, who secured the Republican nomination for the open seat of outgoing Sen. Mitt Romney.

Both candidates and their respective races have attracted interest from pro-cryptocurrency voters who are eager to see lawmakers with friendly views toward crypto and tech innovation elected to Congress in November.

GEORGE LATIMER OUSTS REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN FROM CONGRESS

Bowman, who has made headlines for his controversial rhetoric about Israel and the war in Gaza, has also drawn the ire of the crypto crowd for voting against pro-crypto policies while in Congress and his association with decidedly anti-crypto Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

The pro-crypto super PAC Fairshake, funded to the tune of $169 million by some of the biggest names in crypto and tech, said it was behind a $2 million ad spend opposing Bowman that ran in the days leading up to the primary. While the ad did not mention crypto specifically, Fairshake is nonetheless touting its role in ousting Bowman.

"Jamaal Bowman fought against setting clear rules of the road for the crypto and blockchain industry, and tonight he’s looking for a new job," said Josh Vlasto, a spokesman for Fairshake and its affiliated super PACs. "The crypto and blockchain community will continue to support candidates who believe in innovation and job creation and reach across the aisle to get things done."

Tyler Winklevoss, billionaire entrepreneur and founder of the crypto exchange Gemini, took to X on Tuesday night to respond to a post from Bowman's progressive counterpart, New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, where she condemned special interest groups for spending $15 million to unseat Bowman in the primary.

"Politicians everywhere need to understand that this is what happens when you pick a fight with the crypto army," he wrote.

The Winklevoss twins have donated around $4.9 million to Fairshake this year. They also contributed roughly $1.7 million to former President Trump’s campaign to endorse his pledge to fight President Biden’s war on crypto.

WINKLEVOSS TWINS BLAST BIDEN'S 'WAR ON CRYPTO' IN TRUMP ENDORSEMENT, PLEDGE $1M BTC EACH TO HIS CAMPAIGN

Bowman recently voted against a key piece of House legislation called the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, or the FIT 21 bill, which establishes regulatory clarity for digital assets in the U.S. The bill passed the House in May with a large swath of support from Democrats, but Bowman was not among them.

He also voted against the bipartisan repeal of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Staff Accounting Bulletin, known as SAB 121, which puts cumbersome mandates on banks wishing to custody digital assets.

Bowman’s alliance and friendship with Warren, who is notorious in crypto circles for her criticism of the industry and her intent to create a so-called "anti-crypto army," is yet another reason why proponents of crypto are celebrating his defeat. Warren recently endorsed Bowman and his re-election campaign.

His opponent, Latimer, has yet to make any public statements on crypto, although his website touts a commitment to defending democracy and promoting transparency in government, policies that pro-crypto voters identify with.

Meanwhile, Curtis’ victory in Utah is being hailed as a win for crypto by industry participants.

Curtis, a Republican representing Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, has supported crypto, voting for legislation that would help the industry and even expressing a desire for his home state to become a global hub for digital assets.

"While the value has skyrocketed, crypto has become a significant part of our economy, especially here in Utah, where Overstock was one of the first companies to accept crypto payments," Curtis said in a post on X in May.

The Defend American Jobs PAC, another pro-crypto, pro-tech super PAC that is affiliated with Fairshake, spent around $3.5 million in support of Curtis and $1.2 million on an ad attacking his rival, Trent Staggs, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

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Both super PACs have amassed contributions of tens of millions of dollars from crypto industry titans like Coinbase, Ripple and tech-focused venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, all of which are trying to make the $2 trillion crypto market a key issue in the upcoming general elections.

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