Crypto industry seeks to educate, influence US lawmakers as it faces increasing regulation

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The interaction between the cryptocurrency industry and Capitol Hill is becoming more intense than ever as efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies grow with popularity. Increasing pressure on the crypto industry last year received some tangible parameters in February from crypto analytics firm Crypto Head. He published a report showing that the cryptocurrency companies that spent the most money on lobbying in 2021 were Robinhood, Ripple Labs, Coinbase, and the Blockchain Association. These organizations have also been lobbyists for the past five years, albeit with different ratings.

Here’s what the US crypto printing landscape looks like today.

Impact measurements
In 2021, Robinhood spent $1.35 million on lobbying and became the only cryptocurrency-related organization to spend over $1 million. In second place, Ripple Labs spent $900,000. The Economist has estimated that crypto companies spent a total of $5 million on lobbying in the first three quarters of 2021.

In comparison, the 2020 lobbying group in the US, the National Association of Realtors, spent $84.11 million under the non-profit organization Open Secrets, which provided data for the Crypto Head report.

“Consumption is just one measure of efficiency, and these reports often don’t provide context for the effectiveness of the dollar being used,” Kristen Smith, CEO of the Blockchain Association, said in an email to Cointelegraph. Smith noted that the Crypto Head report “confuses cross-industry companies, multi-member trade associations, and other organizations, making individual comparison difficult.”

Smith said that education is the organization’s highest priority. She told Fox News last year, “Our top priority is to help [Treasury Secretary Janet] Yellen understand that crypto goes beyond financing criminal activity.”

The cryptocurrency industry has not been alone in lobbying for cryptocurrencies. According to CNBC sources, the NFL spent $600,000 in 2021 lobbying Congress, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and other government agencies to decide “whether cryptocurrency can be an integral part of the league’s operations.” In February, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang launched Lobby3, a decentralized independent organization that will promote Web3 and poverty reduction.

Weapon in action
Crypto Head referred to the existence of “weapons” within the ranks of the crypto industry lobby and defined weapons as “government regulators, congressional officials or members of Congress who hold positions in lobbying companies and get the most out of their insider knowledge.” The story got richer in February with the release of the Technical Transparency Project (TTP) report “Crypto Industry Insiders Stuck in Washington as Blitz Pressure Intensifies.”

The TTP report documents two “240 former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) executives, two CFTC executives, and a former head of the Senate Finance Committee,” legislators, and other former employees of various types, for a total of “nearly 240 examples of officials in key positions in the White House, Congress, federal regulators, and national political campaigns in and out of the industry.”

Although the use of small arms is a common practice in many industries, and not just for lobbying, the TPP has faced potential conflicts of interest in the transition from industry to government. In particular, five “former senior executives of Circle Internet Financial, a stablecoin operator denominated in US dollars (USDC), joined the Boston Federal Reserve, “despite the fact that the company seeks to obtain the charter of the Federal Reserve Bank.” The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is also participating in the Hamilton Project study on the digital dollar.

PAC encoders
Political Action Committees (PACs) are giving the cryptocurrency industry a new opportunity to influence the political process, and there has been a wave of organizations on this front as well. The US Blockchain PAC was created in November with the goal of raising $300 million for crypto support candidates. However, it was reported in mid-February that less than $8,000 had been raised so far.

A $10 million advocacy group, Democracy for Our Future, was formed in January, with FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried among the donors. Gonna Make It (GMI) PAC was launched that same month, backed by former Donald Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci, with a tweet that read: “When we organize, when we act, we are unstoppable. We are GMI PAC, a super-PAC that will pick failing candidates coded in federal races across the country.” He intends to raise 20 million dollars.

Source: CoinTelegraph

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