According to a Reuters report, the cryptocurrency industry has witnessed a surge in lobbying spending as companies strive to repair their reputations and advocate for favorable legislation.
Despite facing regulatory scrutiny and high-profile scandals and lawsuits from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has taken the lead in enforcing the industry, Reuters has reported that crypto companies have invested significant resources in engaging with policymakers and trying to build a reasonable regulatory framework.
Crypto Companies Ramp Up Lobbying Spending According to data from the nonprofit research group OpenSecrets, cryptocurrency companies spent a record-breaking $18.96 million on lobbying in the first three quarters of 2023.
This figure represents a significant increase from the $16.1 million spent during the same period in 2022. Remarkably, this surge in lobbying expenditure occurred despite the notable collapse of FTX, which was among the top spenders in the previous year. In 2022, crypto companies, including FTX, allocated nearly $22 million to lobbying efforts.
Among the top spenders, Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, led the pack by investing $2.16 million in lobbying activities. Following closely were Foris DAX, the operator of Crypto.com, the Blockchain Association, and Binance Holdings.
These companies believe that engaging directly with policymakers, fostering relationships, and bridging the education gap are crucial steps in establishing a sensible and practical regulatory framework.
Per the report, cryptocurrency companies have been actively expanding their presence in Washington to mend their reputations following a series of scandals in the previous year.
One noteworthy incident was the collapse of FTX, where its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, faced fraud charges and was found guilty by a Manhattan federal court jury. Additionally, regulatory scrutiny has intensified, with the SEC accusing Coinbase and Binance of failing to register tokens, allegations that both companies deny.
Favorable Legislative Efforts Intensified According to Reuters, a key goal driving the lobbying efforts is the SEC’s approval of a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF). The industry believes such approval would open the doors to millions of new investors and further mainstream adoption, coupled with significant price gains that would leave the bear market far behind.
Crypto companies have also sought to advance legislation in the House of Representatives. In July, the digital asset companies achieved a victory when a congressional committee passed two significant bills that aim to clarify to crypto companies on applying existing financial rules.
Although these bills have yet to progress further, crypto lobbyists remain persistent. Coinbase, for instance, launched a grassroots advocacy campaign in September and plans to continue engaging with lawmakers through further meetings in the coming weeks.
Overall, as the industry continues to evolve, the outcome of ongoing lobbying efforts and regulatory developments will shape the future landscape of cryptocurrencies and their broader acceptance within traditional financial systems.
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