Home Cryptocurrency US crypto industry comes to Washington, but faces uphill struggle

US crypto industry comes to Washington, but faces uphill struggle

by Harry Garcia

Crypto companies are mobilizing in Washington, D.C. to push for industry-friendly legislation, but they face tough competition for lawmakers’ attention. On Wednesday, dozens of executives from digital asset companies are meeting with lawmakers and their staff as part of a grassroots advocacy campaign organized by Coinbase and Stand With Crypto. The hope is to advance two major bills passed by the House Financial Services Committee in July that would clarify which existing financial rules apply to the crypto industry.

However, the focus of lawmakers is currently on other pressing matters, such as the federal budget, the Farm Bill, and the National Defense Authorization Act. As a result, the crypto industry may struggle to get its voice heard amidst the flurry of competing priorities. Despite the challenges, industry participants are committed to making their case.

The crypto industry has faced increasing regulatory scrutiny in recent months, particularly from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC has accused Coinbase and its rival, Binance, of failing to register tokens, which the companies deny. In response, crypto companies have been expanding their presence in Washington, ramping up lobbying efforts, and spending significant amounts of money on federal lobbying.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is among the executives meeting with lawmakers. The delegation also includes an executive from OpenSea, the top non-fungible token marketplace. Both companies are eager to ensure that their work is not hindered by government regulation.

The outcome of the lobbying efforts remains uncertain. Some experts question the political impact of the industry’s grassroots campaign. Additionally, industry-friendly crypto legislation faces challenges in the Senate, where it has failed to gain traction in the past. Lawmakers from both parties are focused on curbing the use of crypto for money laundering and terrorist financing.

One prominent opponent of industry-backed crypto legislation is Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Brown believes that the crypto industry should not be allowed to write its own rules and emphasizes the need for regulations to protect consumers. Without Brown’s support, the chances of passing industry-friendly legislation in the near-term are slim.

Despite the challenges, Coinbase is ramping up its efforts in Ohio, where Brown is facing re-election next year. The company is hosting grassroots events to raise awareness of the crypto industry’s role in the local economy. However, industry experts believe that without Brown’s support, advancing crypto legislation will be difficult.

Overall, the task of advancing industry-friendly crypto laws in Washington, D.C. is an uphill battle. The competing priorities of lawmakers and concerns over money laundering and terrorism financing make it challenging for the crypto industry to gain the attention and support it desires. However, industry participants remain committed to advocating for their interests and shaping the regulatory landscape.

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