Coinbase launches $2 million ad campaign targeting Latino voters in US

FILE PHOTO: Smartphone with displayed Coinbase logo and representation of cryptocurrencies are placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken, June 8, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Coinbase launched on Thursday a $2 million ad campaign targeted toward Latino voters and consumers, the company told Reuters, as the crypto industry makes moves this U.S. election cycle to put friendly lawmakers into office.

The ad campaign comes on top of tens of millions of dollars the crypto industry has already spent in U.S. elections this year, targeting down-ballot races to defeat those pushing for more regulation.

The new ad from Coinbase aims to promote crypto alternatives to sending remittances, and features a young man who sends money to his grandmother in Mexico.

Coinbase says that while the average fee rate to send money overseas is 6.18%, it is free to send that money with USD Coin, a digital stablecoin, on Coinbase Wallet.

The ad will run on Univision during the Copa America soccer tournament on TV and digital with more investment in California and Texas, the company said. It is also targeting Washington, D.C.

"Our traditional financial system is not working for communities of color, who experience disproportionate barriers to wealth-building at every turn," said former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in a statement linked to the ad campaign.

Fifty-nine percent of Mexican adults said they thought it was likely that crypto would become a reliable form of payment, versus 38% of U.S. adults, according to Morning Consult research in 2023.

This is not the first time Coinbase, an online platform for buying and selling crypto, has launched advocacy efforts. Last August the company helped start Stand With Crypto, an organization for voters who own cryptocurrencies.

Stand With Crypto saw its membership surpass 1 million in June.

Gemini Trust Co founders and twin brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss said on Thursday that they both have donated $1 million in bitcoin to Republican candidate Donald Trump's White House bid.

"Over the past few years, the Biden Administration has openly declared war against crypto," Tyler Winklevoss wrote on social media platform X. "It's time for the crypto army to send a message to Washington."

The Biden administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that aims to create a new legal framework for digital currencies, despite an unusual warning from the U.S. securities regulator it could create new financial risks.

(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Marguerita Choy)

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