Crypto Lobbying Rose 922% in the Last 6 Years – Coinbase Leads

Crypto companies gave $25 million to Washington lobbyists in 2022, many of whom are former politicians.

Man standing on a pile of money in front of Biden's White House window, as the president is looking outside.
  • Crypto lobbying spending reached $25 million in 2022, with Coinbase in the lead. 
  • Coinbase hired 32 lobbyists, 26 of whom were former politicians and staffers. 
  • Crypto firms use lobbying to influence politicians to enact crypto-friendly legislation. 

Crypto firms have a reputation for working on the edge of, or outside, regulations. However, numerous crypto companies are doing exactly the opposite. Major exchanges are spending millions to try and influence politicians to pass crypto-friendly laws. 

A recent study has unveiled a startling fact: crypto lobbying expenditure in the United States has skyrocketed by 922% in the last six years. The amount of money crypto companies spent on influencing politicians reached $25.57 million in 2022. 

The report by Money Mongers reveals that Coinbase, Blockchain Association, and Robinhood topped the list of companies lobbying for pro-crypto laws in 2022. Out of these firms, Coinbase was firmly in the lead, spending $3.39 million. Blockchain Association followed with $1.9 million, and Robinhood with $1.84 million. 

The report also shows a surge in lobbying activity in 2022, as almost half of the total lobbying spending came in that year. Since 2017, Coinbase has upped its lobbying efforts by 4,137%, by 500%, by 1,340%, and Ripple by 2,060%.

Coinbase Hires 26 Former Politicians and Staffers

The millions these companies spend go primarily to professional lobbyists, who make sure that politicians hear the company’s point of view. 

Many lobbyists are former politicians or Congressional staffers. These so-called “revolvers” use the connections they made while in office to lobby for private businesses. 

Coinbase hired 32 lobbyists, out of which 26 were “revolvers.” Meanwhile, the Blockchain Association utilized $1.9 million on lobbying, employing 18 lobbyists, out of which 12 were “revolvers.” Robinhood spent almost $1.84 million on lobbying and enlisted 20 different lobbyists, 12 of whom were “revolvers.”

Crypto companies lobby primarily to influence policies around crypto, the report suggests. This is because crypto companies stand to gain significantly from crypto-friendly laws. 

The report draws data from OpenSecrets, a platform that aggregates data on campaign and lobbying spending in the United States. Lobbying is a legal and recognized practice in most developed countries. Still, websites like OpenSecret exist to ensure there is transparency in the process. 

On the Flipside

  • Lobbying efforts could result in more crypto-friendly laws or at least fewer anti-crypto regulations. However, companies can also use it to further their own individual interests at the expense of others in the crypto industry. 
  • While Coinbase spent the most on lobbying, FTX took the cake in terms of campaign contributions. FTX CEO Sam-Bankman Fried was the biggest individual donor to the US midterm elections in 2022.  

Why You Should Care

Lobbying could play a significant role in the future of crypto regulation. This is especially true after the regulatory climate turned against crypto following the FTX collapse

Read more about the latest efforts by US crypto lobbyists:
US Crypto Lobbyists Try to Calm Stablecoin Collapse Concerns

Read more about Polkadot’s expansion into the NFT space:
Polkadot Gains New Parachain to Expand NFT Potential

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

David Marsanic

David Marsanic is a journalist for DailyCoin who covers the intersection of crypto, traditional finance, and government. He focuses on institutionalized crypto entities like major cryptocurrency exchanges and Solana, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand writing. David's prior experience as a business journalist at various crypto and traditional news sites has enabled him to maintain a critical approach to news while adhering to high journalistic integrity standards.