The digital chamber’s advisory board is full of former federal regulators, including a former member of Congress and a recent chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, J. Christopher Giancarlo, who was appointed to the board of BlockFi, a financial services company that tries to use traditional cryptocurrencies To connect asset managers.
Max Baucus, the Democratic former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Jim Messina, a former top Obama adviser, were also recently appointed to senior industry positions.
Lobbying disclosure records show that at least 65 contracts addressed industry issues such as digital currency, cryptocurrency or blockchain as of early 2021, up from around 20 in 2019. The largest lobbying spend includes Ripple, Coinbase – the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world EU USA and trading groups such as the Blockchain Association.
The lobbying outbreak is one of several recent signs across the country that the industry is more prominent in the economy. FTX, the cryptocurrency trading company, spent $ 135 million to secure the naming rights for the Miami Heat’s home arena.
Billionaire Elon Musk, who hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, was asked about Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency with the face of a Shiba Inu dog that was created as a joke but has recently increased in value. “It’s the future of the currency. It’s an unstoppable financial instrument that is going to take over the world, “Musk said before adding,” Yeah, it’s a rush. “The price of Dogecoin fell nearly 35 percent in the hours after the show aired.
With the industry hiring new government officials, claims of conflicts of interest are already surfacing.
Jay Clayton, who was chairman of the SEC through December, is now a paid advisor to One River Digital Asset Management hedge fund, which invests hundreds of millions in bitcoin and ether, two cryptocurrencies, for its clients. Mr. Clayton declined to comment.