No one’s donating their crypto to Donald Trump

No one’s donating their crypto to Donald Trump
People & culture
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss each said they donated $1 million in Bitcoin to Donald Trump. They are among very few. Credit: Darren Joseph
  • Donald Trump’s campaign started accepting crypto donations in May.
  • But he’s raised only $59,000 in crypto, an analysis showed.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign made waves last month when it began accepting crypto donations.

That decision just paid off: Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, founders of crypto exchange Gemini, each said they donated 15.47 Bitcoin, worth about $1 million, to the Trump campaign.

But the list of Trump’s other crypto donors is somewhat short.

The Trump campaign has raised less than $60,000 in crypto from just 218 donors, according to an analysis of blockchain data through June 17 conducted by Breadcrumbs, a blockchain analytics firm.

The $59,385 in crypto includes only assets that could be tracked on Ethereum, Polygon, and Base, the blockchains the Trump campaign is using to accept donations, according to Breadcrumbs data analyst James Delmore.

”Yeah, $59,000 is nothing,” Delmore said, adding that the majority of crypto donations were likely on Coinbase order books. “Donating onchain is not easy.”

Fundraising prowess

The meagre haul belies the former president’s fundraising prowess: Through his campaign raised more than $260 million, according to OpenSecrets data through April 30 and a Trump campaign announcement detailing fundraising in May.

Outside groups supporting Trump raised more than $123 million.

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Trump, who threw his weight behind crypto last month, isn’t the first pro-crypto presidential candidate.

Third-party presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. started accepting donations in Bitcoin last year.

Trump is, however, the first nominee from one of the country’s two major political parties to accept crypto.

President Joe Biden is considering becoming the second, The Block reported last week.

“This is the official beginning of crypto donations,” Delmore said.

To tally Trump’s onchain fundraising, Delmore made $1 donations on Ethereum, Polygon, and Base, and then tracked the flow of that crypto to its final destination: a Coinbase deposit address.

And pro-crypto political action committee FairShake has a war chest of some $100 million, filings show.

Other donations

But the former president’s $59,000 haul in crypto doesn’t include donations made via Coinbase, the centralised exchange chosen to facilitate the campaign’s crypto donations.

It also does not include donations made on recently-added options Gemini and Anedot, a platform that allows people to make crypto donations.

The Trump campaign didn’t return a request for comment.

‘Crypto army’

Less than two weeks after Trump positioned himself as the crypto candidate in the US presidential election, he began accepting crypto donations.

“Biden surrogate Elizabeth Warren said in an attack on cryptocurrency that she was building an ‘anti-crypto army’ to restrict Americans’ right to make their own financial choices,” the campaign said at the time.

“MAGA supporters, now with a new cryptocurrency option, will build a crypto army moving the campaign to victory on November 5th!”

How crypto is donated

Delmore described how donations were processed: smart contracts on each blockchain used Uniswap, a decentralised crypto exchange, to swap the donated cryptocurrency for USDC, a dollar-pegged stablecoin.

Through June 17, 117 wallets donated a combined $11,323.87 worth of USDC to the Trump campaign on the Base blockchain.

Another 92 wallets donated $27,459.61 worth of USDC to the Trump campaign on Polygon, and a mere nine wallets on Ethereum donated $20,601.90 worth of USDC.

Delmore attributed that to Ethereum’s notoriously high transaction fees — his $1 donation incurred a $24 fee, he said.

Aleks Gilbert is a DeFi Correspondent at DL News. Got a tip? Email at aleks@dlnews.com.