Roll Call Statistics Concludes Over $42 Million USD Was Spent Lobbying for FinTech Purposes in Q1


The cryptocurrency community is working towards a more regulatory friendly ecosystem as firms across the world take up lobbying. In a report by Roll Call, 80 companies across the United States reported a total of $42 million to lobby for a more fintech friendly regulations.

The figures includes fields of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technologies, IoT integration, online communities and payments systems etc. Furthermore, Politico, a news agency reported that 33 cryptocurrency firms spent budgets to lobby for favorable legislation.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology despite being a niche category at the moment, are still growing as industries. Based on disclosure filings in the capital, there has been a significant increase in the number of lobbyists in favor of blockchain technology. It is disclosed that the number has tripled since 2018.

Jerry Brito, the executive director of coin centre cites that increased regulation of securities has resulted in the significant growth and increased interest. However back in January this year the Democratic Representative from Florida, Darren Soto suggested that most of the cryptocurrencies should not be subjected to regulations.

Fintech lobbyists reported to spend over $42 million USD

As alluded to before, Roll Call, a news company, collected information from the Federal Electoral Commission (FEC) stating 80 firms including IBM, Ripple Labs and Ernst & Young have raised $42 million over the past year for lobbying purposes.

The report further states that of the total amount, the U.S Chamber of Commerce was the biggest lobbyist for fintech firms spending close to half of the total amount spent at $18.4 million USD. The table below shows in rank the companies that used lobbying to promote the fintech industry and cryptocurrencies.

30FintechBitcoin-01

The lobbyist firms spent over $42 million USD in 2018 for fintech related issues

MasterCard, a giant payment systems firm, paid a total of $720,000 USD for lobbying on issues related to virtual currencies.

Broadly speaking, entities have been focusing on legislative projects in an attempt to influence new and existing laws which in turn will create problematic conditions for this new digital technology. Other big spenders on the list includes accounting giants Ernst & Young and Accenture.

For example looking at the Blockchain Association which is an industry advocacy group, is targeting an Ohio Bill that plans to exempt cryptocurrencies from securities regulations under the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ohio was the first state to allow taxpayers to pay tax bills using cryptocurrency. The Director of external affairs Kristin Smith is quoted by the political news site Roll Call saying that it has been their biggest focus for a while now and will continue to be for the next couple of months.

In Washington, operators of decentralized cryptocurrencies are centralizing their lobbying and it was as a result that several industry firms announced the Blockchain Association. The Blockchain Association will purportedly represent investors and entrepreneurs who are engaged in blockchain-based projects.

A total of 33 entities were mentioned by previous statistics to be lobbying Washington on Blockchain matters in last year’s Q4. As reported by CoinTelegraph, crypto space regulation remains a very contentious issue in the U.S since approaches are varying widely between states.

The Current Republican Minority Leader in the United States House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy believes that blockchain can add more transparency and efficiency to the congress. McCarthy quotes;

“Blockchain is changing and revolutionizing the security of the financial industry. Why should we wait around and why wouldn’t we institute blockchain on our own, to be able to check the technology but also the transparency of our own legislative process?”

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