Blockchain and Crypto Lobbying In Congress Reportedly Tripled During 2018
Lobbying on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in Washington D.C. is reported to have increased significantly over 2018.
Politico, a politics oriented publication, reported on Monday, March 18 that the number of lobbies on emerging technologies had tripled in the past one year to reach 33 projects in Q4 of 2018.
In comparison, the number of entities that lobbied the same sector over 2017 reached a total of 12 projects.
According to Jerry Brito, an executive director at Coin Center which has collaborated with U.S Reps like Warren Davidson of Ohio and Darren Soto of Florida said that the growth in lobby groups is likely a result of securities regulation.
Incidentally, both Davidson and Soto are two of the most crypto-friendly U.S lawmakers.
Early this year, Soto said that it wasn’t appropriate to subject all cryptocurrencies to the same regulations as stipulated under the U.S securities laws.
According to him, cryptocurrencies should be regulated by the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and not to be classified as securities as is the case with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Companies that deal or provide services related to Blockchain technology have reportedly been facing a lot of difficulties in relation to deployment outside the digital currency industry.
Dina Ellis Rochkind, a lobbyist who has experience working with Congress says that it is still early for blockchain firms to win allies in the U.S. Congress.
Another lobbyist, Izzy Klein, who works with Ripple-backed Klein/Johnson Group, expresses sentiments similar to those of Rochkind.
According to Klein, being a new technology, blockchain is likely to face challenges brought on by heavy regulation. He adds that to gain mainstream recognition, it will need “as many legitimate voices and boots on the ground,” as it can get.
In 2018, a number of leading companies in the crypto industry teamed up to form the first lobbying group. The group sought to represent the crypto industry’s interests in Washington D.C.
Among these companies was top U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase. The others include Protocol Labs, Digital Currency Group and venture firm Polychain Capital.
Dubbed the “Blockchain Association,” the lobby group was purportedly targeted at representing blockchain entrepreneurs and investors.
Positivity towards blockchain technology and its general impact was also evident from the comments made by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, currently the Republican Minority Leader in the House of Representatives.
Rep. McCarthy recently said that blockchain technology had the capacity to transform the Congress, making it a lot more efficient and transparent. In his view, this would help revolutionize the legislative process.
In December 2018, Soto and Rep. Ted Budd introduced two bills in Congress that sought to protect investors and consumers as well as to promote crypto adoption in the United States.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.