Crypto Industry Lobby Spending Set to Reach Record High in 2023


Cryptocurrency companies have been ramping up their lobbying efforts in Washington, as the industry faces growing regulatory scrutiny and tries to improve its reputation. Data from the Cryptocurrency Industry Association shows that crypto firms spent $18.96 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2023, compared to $16.1 million in the same period of 2022.

Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, led the pack with $2.16 million in spending, followed by Foris DAX, the company that operates, and the Blockchain Association.

“Our goal is to work directly with policymakers to establish relationships, bridge the knowledge gap and create a commonsense regulatory structure,” said Kristin Smith, CEO of the Blockchain Association, in a statement.

Crypto companies have been pushing back against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) claims that the industry has been flouting its rules. Last June, the SEC sued Coinbase and Binance, claims which they deny. Crypto firms have also been pushing the SEC to approve a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), which would open up bitcoin access to millions more investors.

Lobbying efforts have also been advancing friendly legislation in the House of Representatives, with two major bills passing a congressional committee in July. This would help provide clarity over which existing financial rules apply to crypto companies.

Coinbase launched a grassroots advocacy campaign in September, and is continuing its push with more lawmaker meetings in the coming weeks. Crypto companies have been aiming to mend their reputations following a string of scandals in 2022, including the collapse of FTX, whose former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty of fraud last month by a jury in a Manhattan federal court.

Reporting by Hannah Lang, Editing by Michelle Price and Matthew Lewis. Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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