The cryptocurrency industry has significantly increased its spending on lobbying efforts in the United States, reaching a total expenditure of $56.44 million from 2019 to the current date in 2023. According to CoinGecko analysis, 66 companies and 12 organizations were involved, totaling 78 non-individual entities actively lobbying in Washington for crypto-related issues during this period.
Yearly Trends: Evolution of Crypto Lobbying
The lobbying landscape for crypto underwent notable fluctuations, with the lowest expenditure recorded in 2019 and 2020 at $2.99 million and $2.54 million, respectively. This modest spending represented 2.9% and 2.3% of the Wall Street lobby in those respective years. The scale of crypto lobbying saw a significant increase in 2021, with a tripled year-on-year expenditure of $8.49 million, constituting 7.2% of Wall Street’s lobbying spend.
The year 2022 marked a substantial surge, as crypto lobbying reached a record high of $22.23 million, more than doubling the previous year. This increase was attributed to the growing number of lobbying entities, rising from 37 in 2021 to 57 in 2022. Notable participants in 2022 included Crypto.com, TaxBit, Tether, and Kraken, ranking among the top spenders.
As of the third quarter of 2023, the crypto industry has spent $20.19 million on lobbying, setting the stage for a potential surpassing of the 2022 record. Impressively, crypto lobbying in 2023 accounts for 19.7% of Wall Street lobbying, indicating a substantial 3.7 percentage point increase from the previous year.
Setbacks & Impact: FTX Collapse on Crypto Lobbying
Despite setbacks such as the regulatory fallout from the FTX collapse, the digital asset industry continues its push for influence in Washington. The collapse triggered regulatory scrutiny and shed a negative light on collective political contributions from FTX, impacting the overall perception of crypto lobbying in the U.S.
Leading the charge in crypto lobbying is Coinbase, which spent $7.51 million from 2019 to 2023. The Blockchain Association follows closely, with $5.23 million in lobbying expenditure, making it the top organization lobbying for crypto-related issues. Ripple secured the third position with $3.46 million in lobbying spending.
Consistency has been a key factor among the top three lobbying representatives, as Coinbase, Blockchain Association, and Ripple have actively participated for five consecutive years. Other entities displaying similar persistence include the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the Bitcoin Association, and Anchorage Digital.
Newcomers to the crypto lobbying arena in 2023 include Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z), OKX, Polygon, Solana, and Discover Crypto (formerly Bitboy Crypto), marking a shift in industry participation.
The 30 most significant lobbying spenders in the digital asset industry, accounting for 82.1% of total crypto lobbying from 2019 to 2023, are led by Coinbase, Blockchain Association, and Ripple. Notable newcomers and up-and-coming players include Crypto.com, Kraken, Tether, TaxBit, Andreessen Horowitz, OKX, Polygon, Solana, and Discover Crypto.
This analysis, based on data from OpenSecrets, focused on lobbying expenditures for crypto-related issues in the U.S. over the last five years, excluding cases where crypto-related issues were combined with non-crypto matters. The dataset provides valuable insights into the evolving landscape of the crypto industry’s engagement with U.S. policymakers.
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