FTX’s Bankman-Fried could donate $1 billion in 2024 US elections

Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

Sam Bankman-Fried, billionaire altruist and FTX exchange founder, has claimed he could donate upwards of $1 billion (£796m) to help influence the outcome of the 2024 United States presidential election.

In an interview on the “Whats Your Problem?” podcast, Bankman-Fried said he would spend “north of $100 million (£79.6m)” on the next presidential election cycle with a “soft ceiling” of $1 billion.

The multi-billionaire went on to state: “I would hate to say hard ceiling because who knows what’s going to happen between now and then.”

Bankman-Fried describes himself as an effective altruist, meaning he prioritises using his position and resources to bring about the most good for others.

In the 2020 US presidential election, Bankman-Fried was the 57th biggest donor, giving $5.57 million (£4.42m) in support of Democrat candidate Joe Biden’s successful campaign.

Since then, his political donations have grown extensively. Thus far into 2022, he has donated $23 million (£18.2m) to the Politican Action Committee (PAC) Protect Our Future.

On the podcast, the 29-year-old claimed to have donated around $200 million (£158m) of his net worth already.

He went on to say that the amount he donates in 2024 is “super contingent” and depends on “exactly who’s running where and why”.

In a possible turn away from his firm support of Democratic candidates, Bankman-Fried continued: “I think that I’m going to be looking a lot less at political parties from that perspective and a lot more about sane governance.”

Following the podcast, the FTX founder clarified his views regarding political donations on Twitter, saying that he wants “thoughtful policy makers and rational policy”.

Whilst preventing the next pandemic is his main priority, he added that protecting consumers whilst encouraging innovation, promoting freedom, and balancing growth with inflation are all key issues for him.

Regardless of who it ends up supporting, a $1 billion donation would surpass the current record many times over.

To date, the largest political donor has been the late Republican supporter Sheldon Adelson, who donated $218 million (£173m) to Donald Trump’s campaign in 2020.

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