TTP Investigation: Crypto Industry Amasses Washington Insiders as Lobbying Blitz Intensifies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2022
Contact: Michael Clauw, email@example.com, 202.780.5750
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA), a nonprofit watchdog group that runs the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), released a report revealing an explosion of “revolving door” traffic between the cryptocurrency sector and federal institutions, with 235 examples of former officials from the White House, Congress, federal regulatory agencies, the Federal Reserve, and national political campaigns moving to the industry in some form. While lawmakers and regulators consider action to address growing concerns about the rapidly expanding cryptocurrency industry, these moves signal that crypto insiders are intent on blunting any such regulatory efforts.
Campaign for Accountability Executive Director Michelle Kuppersmith said, “The revolving door between government and the industries it regulates is nothing new, but the speed at which it is spinning around the cryptocurrency regulatory debate deserves particular scrutiny. As these discussions unfold, outside observers and those in government would be right to question the motives of those conveniently entrenched in crypto-friendly positions.”
TTP’s report details the revolving door between government offices and major cryptocurrency stakeholders including Ripple, Coinbase, Binance, Paxos and the Chamber of Digital Commerce. The latter, a 180-member association founded in 2014, includes some of the best-known brands in crypto, finance, banking, and venture capital, including Goldman Sachs, Citi, Wells Fargo, and Visa. The group counts former Trump Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney as an advisor and spent $690,000 on lobbying in 2021, up from the $145,000 it spent in 2020.
The recent surge in crypto interest has also spurred the creation of dozens of other new trade associations, foundations, and other nonprofits that seek to shape the debate in Washington. In all, our analysis found at least 25 former government officials working with nine different trade associations, industry groups, or nonprofits that have emerged in just the last few years to influence crypto regulatory policy. These organizations and companies have courted both Democrats and Republicans in Washington.
Ms. Kuppersmith continued, “The cryptocurrency industry is banking on government’s reliably slow response to emerging technology to maximize its position at the table before any foundational regulations can be established. The battle lines are far from drawn, but if this cozy intermingling between the regulator and the regulated is to continue, it is not shaping up to be a fair fight.”
Campaign for Accountability is a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.