Crypto sector lobbying expenditures up a third in second quarter

Of the 42 detailed second-quarter filings, 17, or about 40 percent, referenced the classification of digital assets as securities or commodities as an area of interest. Those filings reported $3.2 million in lobbying expenditures. Eight of the detailed filings, outlining $2.1 million in expenditures, listed stablecoins as an area of interest.

Smith said the infrastructure law’s tax reporting provisions, which first sparked a political spending spree by the industry, took a backseat this year to more urgent questions around market and stablecoin regulation. Still, tax issues often cropped up in lobbying disclosures. Of the detailed second-quarter disclosures, 17 filings — reporting $2.7 million in expenditures — mentioned tax.  

Preaching the ‘techno-optimist’ message

Timi Iwayemi, a senior researcher at the Revolving Door Project, said if the industry gets its way on its priorities, consumers will pay the price. The Revolving Door Project scrutinizes executive branch appointments. 

Placing digital assets under CFTC oversight would leave investors vulnerable to scams, wash trades and pump-and-dump schemes, he said, adding that allowing stablecoins to replicate services provided by banks without appropriate safeguards, such as deposit insurance, could threaten financial stability as a whole. 

The industry has cultivated lawmakers, particularly Democrats, through a combination of lobbying and campaign expenditures, meetings with industry executives and revolving door hires, Iwayemi said in an interview. 

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