The cryptocurrency industry sharply increased its annual spending on Washington lobbying last year, shelling out more than it ever has before — $21.55 million.
That’s according to an analysis of disclosures by OpenSecrets, which rounded up disclosures from more than 50 industry players.
2022’s spending was more than double the crypto industry’s lobbing outlay of $8.29 million for 2021, as shown in the chart below.
The ramp up came during a year when the industry suffered a black eye thanks to the November collapse of crypto exchange FTX.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, currently awaiting trial on fraud charges, had been a megadonor for the 2022 midterm elections, but politicians have ended up returning or giving away campaign contributions linked to FTX.
Campaign contributions aren’t counted as lobbying spending, even as donors make them to build relationships with policymakers.
Bitcoin BTCUSD, +0.09%, the best-known virtual currency, lost more than 60% in 2022, but it has rallied in 2023.
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While the crypto industry’s lobbying spending is growing, the amounts shelled out by its individual companies and trade groups fall well short of lobbying spending by bigger Washington players. Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -0.97% and its subsidiaries, for example, paid out $21.38 million in 2022, according to an analysis by OpenSecrets, which is a research group tracking money in U.S. politics.
From MarketWatch’s archives (February 2022): Congress’s crypto traders: The U.S. lawmakers who buy and sell digital currencies
The table below, also based on OpenSecrets data, shows the 2022 lobbying spending by enterprises that aimed to influence Washington on crypto-related issues. Coinbase COIN, -0.59% paid out the most, followed by the Blockchain Association.
|Name||2022 lobbying spending|
|Chamber of Digital Commerce||$936,406|
|DeFi Education Fund||$930,000|
|Stellar Development Foundation||$460,000|
|Digital Currency Group||$440,000|
|Crypto Council for Innovation||$350,000|
|Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Assn||$280,000|
|Gemini Trust Co||$240,000|
|Paxos Trust Co||$220,000|
|Association for Digital Asset Markets||$190,000|
|Galaxy Digital Holdings||$190,000|
|Bitwise Asset Management||$160,000|
|Proof of Trust||$120,000|
|Marathon Digital Holdings||$120,000|
|Proof of Stake Alliance||$100,000|
|Hive Blockchain Technologies||$80,000|
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