Ripple and Coinbase Spent Roughly $1M to Lobby Washington Last Year
Disclosure forms have shown how much some crypto firms paid in lobbying efforts in 2020. Ripple and Coinbase lead the way with about a million spent.
The crypto industry has been fighting for fairer treatment from regulators for a while now. Recent records are showing the industry firms are shelling out some big bucks to that effect.
Ripple and Coinbase Lead the Way
As the records showed, Ripple Labs, the blockchain firm based in San Francisco, spent the most on lobbying of all crypto companies. The company spent $690,000 on lobbying efforts, most of which targeted improving the regulatory standing of cryptocurrencies in the United States.
Ripple’s efforts still didn’t save it from the ire of the regulatory watchdogs. About a month ago, the company was served a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The agency accused Ripple of offering an unregistered security in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for its XRP token. Ripple is set to begin court proceedings from next month, in what is shaping up to be a landmark case for the American crypto industry.
Silicon Valley-based exchange Coinbase also shelled out some money on lobbying, spending $230,000 last year. The company has been famous for being rather chummy with Washington, with Brian Brooks, one of its former top executives, filling the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) position under the Trump administration.
Coinbase is also looking to be the first crypto exchange to file an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Last month, the company announced that it had filed a Form S-1 with the SEC, hoping to kickstart its filing process sometime this year.
Social media giant Facebook also maintained its $200,000 contract with D.C.-based lobbying firm FS Vector over the past year to focus on blockchain issues. The company helped led the Libra Association to launch its Libra stablecoin in 2019 but was immediately met with pushback both on Capitol Hill and abroad.
The Libra Association has since made changes, including a name rebrand to “Diem.” Still, regulators and lawmakers seem unconvinced.
Grayscale to Step In?
More crypto firms have reported lobbying activity, showing that the industry is getting more confident to pitch its demands to Washington. With a new administration taking the reins of power, these companies appear to be gearing up for another go.
As Bitcoin Exchange Guide reported, Grayscale Investment raised $1 million for Coin Center, the industry’s leading advocacy group. The digital asset manager explained that Coin Center has been doing laudable work in educating policymakers and legislators about cryptocurrencies. Thus, they can make crypto-related legislation and policy proposals from a more enlightened point of view.
Grayscale explained that it would also match all Coin Center donations to a maximum of $1 million. With such a fat war chest, Coin Center should be able to expand its reach on the Hill.