Targeted Victory is building out a cryptocurrency advocacy practice that could dovetail with its fundraising offerings to groups and campaigns.
For now, Capitol Hill veterans Tiffany Angulo and Josh Arnold are tag-teaming their work for clients in the space, but there’s the potential for their effort to grow considerably as more states pass legislation related to crypto and the rule-making process unfolds at the federal level following President Biden’s March 9 executive order.
“That perhaps is putting a fire under this industry’s butt to try to get something moving in this space,” Angulo told C&E.
In her some 10 years on the Hill, Angulo worked closely with many of the members interested in blockchain technology. During her final stint in Arizona Rep. David Schweikert’s office, she ran the Congressional Blockchain Caucus for the Republican. That gave Angulo insight into which members are supportive of the growing cryptocurrency market, and which ones need more “education.”
“You’ve got a lot of noise up here, but we’re not any closer to getting any clarity on what the rules look like,” she said. “We just have a problem being able to tell that story for why people should be paying attention and having this move faster to getting some rules of the road for this space.”
Now, other parts of the government have been moving ahead with crypto regulation. The FEC, for instance, published rules for accepting and reporting donations in bitcoin, the cryptocurrency with the higher market capitalization, following its decision in 2014 that allowed campaigns to accept it. Angulo noted that several members followed then-Rep. Jared Polis’ (D-Colo.) lead and started using BitPay or another intermediaries to accept crypto contributions.
Still, some states including California have banned crypto donations to campaigns at that level, creating a sense of regulatory uncertainty.
“We definitely have members that are super interested in utilizing this for their campaigns and we’re not saying no,” Angulo said. “We’re definitely trying to figure out what that looks like, especially with what’s coming out with the rules for this space.”
Regulators have heard concerns that crypto contributions could open candidates up to accepting donations from foreign citizens or entities. But one of the arguments for campaigns to consider accepting crypto contributions is that it can connect them to a new set of supporters domestically.
“You’ve got a lot of folks in this space who are super passionate, and they’re not necessarily political in your normal sense where [they’re] only voting for Republicans [or Democrats],” Angulo said. “[They’re] voting for people that are supportive of this thing that you’re passionate about. So there’s a great opportunity there to be able to connect with potential donors that you probably never [would have]. The ability for them to be able to use crypto to donate to your campaign kind of opens that door.”
She added: “You have a lot of people that fundamentally believe in this technology and being able to utilize it, and make this more real and tangible and this is another avenue to make this more real and tangible and engage with another audience.”
Meanwhile, several states have moved ahead with crypto currency-related legislation, including Wyoming, Texas and Colorado that have passed several bills related to crypto and crypto mining.
Other states including Florida, Virginia, and Arizona also have been active in introducing and pushing legislation in recent years, according to Angulo, which gives her firm a chance to connect companies working at the local level with their representatives and officials in DC.